Background & aims: Clinical outcome of Helicobacter pylori infection may be associated with specific virulence-associated bacterial genotypes. The aim of this study was to assess the relationships between H. pylori cagA, vacA, and iceA status and severity of disease.
Methods: Gastric biopsy specimens from 94 patients in The Netherlands were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction and reverse hybridization.
Results: cagA was present in 63 (67%) of 94 cases and was associated with peptic ulcer disease (P = 0.0019). vacA geno-types s1a/m1, s1b/m2, s1b/m1, s1b/m2, and s2/m2 were found in 36.2%, 23.4%, 2.1%, 5.3%, and 20.2%, respectively. Ten isolates (10.6%) contained multiple vacA genotypes. The presence of peptic ulcers was associated with type s1 strains (P = 0.0006) but not with the m type (P = 0.2035). cagA and vacA s1 were strongly associated (P < 10(-5)). iceA1 was found in 53 (56.4%) and iceA2 in 25 (26.6%) of the 94 cases. In 14 isolates (14.9%), both iceA alleles were found, and 2 (2.1%) were negative for both iceA1 and iceA2. iceA1 was also associated with peptic ulcer disease (P = 0.0042). The iceA allelic type was independent of the cagA and vacA status.
Conclusions: vacA s1, cagA, and iceA1 are markers of H. pylori strains that are more likely to lead to ulcer disease.