Seroprevalence of CagA-positive strains among Helicobacter pylori-infected, healthy young adults

J Infect Dis. 1997 May;175(5):1240-2. doi: 10.1086/593680.


Helicobacter pylori is categorized into two phenotypes on the basis of the presence or absence of the CagA protein. CagA protein-positive H. pylori are more closely associated with peptic ulcer disease and cancer. Whether CagA-positive strains are similarly represented among racial or ethnic groups in northern California was investigated. Sera from 152 H. pylori-infected healthy young adults were tested by ELISA for IgG against CagA. CagA antibodies were detected in 79.4% of blacks, 63.8% of Hispanics, and 50% of whites. After adjusting for demographic factors, blacks had significantly more infections with CagA-positive H. pylori than did whites (odds ratio [OR] = 5.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.6-15.3) or Hispanics (OR = 5.5, 95% CI = 1.9-16.0). Also, there was a higher prevalence of CagA in persons born in developing countries than in persons born in industrialized nations (OR = 3.5, 95% CI = 1.3-9.4). This suggests either a genetic predisposition of racial or ethnic groups to infection with particular H. pylori phenotypes or transmission of H. pylori within relatively segregated population groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology*
  • Black or African American
  • California
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developed Countries
  • Developing Countries
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Helicobacter pylori / immunology*
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood*
  • Male
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • White People


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