Specific serum immunoglobulin G response to urease and CagA antigens of Helicobacter pylori in infected children and adults in a country with high prevalence of infection

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2002 Jan;9(1):97-100. doi: 10.1128/cdli.9.1.97-100.2002.


Few studies have analyzed the immune response to Helicobacter pylori CagA and urease antigens across age groups in the same population. The aim of this study was to analyze the serologic immunoglobulin G (IgG) response to CagA and urease proteins in children and adults with gastrointestinal symptoms and belonging to the same population and similar socioeconomic levels. The serologic response was studied in 352 children and 293 adults with gastrointestinal symptoms. IgG antibodies against CagA and urease were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods using highly purified recombinant antigens. H. pylori infection was defined as a positive result in a serologic assay using whole-cell H. pylori extracts as the antigen. We found, in H. pylori-positive children, a seroprevalence of 46.9% to CagA and 16.2% to urease, whereas in H. pylori-positive adults, a seroprevalence of 78.9% to CagA and 59% to urease was found. In children, the magnitude of the response to CagA was significantly higher and the response to urease was significantly lower than those in adults. The kinetics of serologic response to CagA and to urease across age groups was contrastably different. Whereas CagA is a strong immunogen, urease is a poor immunogen during natural infection. These differences in the humoral response may be important for the short-term or long-term outcome of the infection. These results add to our knowledge of the epidemiology of H. pylori infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antigens, Bacterial*
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Child
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology
  • Helicobacter Infections / immunology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Urease / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • cagA protein, Helicobacter pylori
  • Urease