Background: Several studies have shown that infection of Helicobacter pylori strains possessing cagA is associated with atrophic gastritis and gastric cancers.
Method: In 58 pairs of early gastric cancer patients and sex- and age-matched controls, isolated H. pylori strains were tested for possession of cagA. The presence of atrophic gastritis was also examined.
Results: Proportions of cagA-positive strains were 100% in cancer patients and 92.3% in controls. Atrophic gastritis was seen in 96.7% and 95.8% of cancer and control patients in whom cagA-positive strains (NS) were detected. However, it was seen in only 20% of H. pylori-negative control patients (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: The present results do not suggest any specific association between cagA-positive strains and gastric cancer. However, frequent prevalence of cagA-positive strains might be associated with the high incidence of atrophic gastritis in Japanese populations.