Introduction: Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative, microaerophilic bacterium that colonizes human gastric mucosa. Gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, chronic atrophic gastritis, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma, and stomach adenocarcinoma are associated with H. pylori as the etiological agent. Cytotoxin-associated gene A (cagA), which is one of the most important virulence factors of H. pylori, encodes a 120-145 kDa protein. The prevalence of cagA genes shows differences in H. pylori infections based on geographical area, and cagA-positive H. pylori strains play an important role in pathogenesis of gastric carcinoma.
Methodology: The aim of this study was to detect the prevalence of cagA and vacA genes in H. pylori isolates in adult patient groups in the southeastern region of Turkey. The presence of H. pylori was investigated in gastric biopsy specimens using the culture method, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis was performed to detect the presence of the cagA and vacA s1 genes.
Results: H. pylori was detected in 65% (84/129) of patients who had gastrointestinal complaints. The number of vacA s1 and cagA genes of isolates were 44 (74.5%) and 31 (52.5%), respectively.
Conclusions: H. pylori infection in southeastern region of Turkey with are comparable to those in developed countries. Patients with cagA- and vacA-positive H. pylori have a higher risk of severe inflammation and atrophy and should therefore be monitored for the development of gastric cancer.