Helicobacter pylori is of major importance for the development and progression of gastric MALT-type lymphoma. In case of localized low grade lymphoma successfully treated by Helicobacter pylori eradication reinfection by the bacterium may involve the risk of lymphoma reoccurrence.
Aims: To assess the frequency and type of Helicobacter pylori infection among patients with gastric MALT-type lymphoma and their respective spouses as potential sources of person to person spread of the infection.
Subjects: 35 patients with gastric MALT-type lymphoma and their cohabiting spouses.
Methods: We investigated serum IgG titers in response to the infection by Helicobacter pylori and to its virulence factors CagA and VacA by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and by Western blot.
Results: Seropositivity of Helicobacter pylori, Cag A and Vac A was found to be 100/89/69% and 97/86/66% in patients and respective partners, respectively. The seroprevalence rates of the latter group by far exceed those of the German population.
Conclusion: These data provide evidence for a high Helicobacter pylori infection rate in both patients with gastric MALT-type lymphoma and their respective spouses. Considering the latter as a potential source of reinfection with the risk of lymphoma reoccurrence for the successfully treated patient with gastric MALT-type lymphoma careful follow-up seems highly reasonable to decide on the necessity of a future test-and-treat strategy of this population.