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BACKGROUND - In developing countries, more than 50% of children have serological evidence of Helicobacter pylori infection. However, serological tests for H. pylori did not differentiate between active and past infection. The objectives of this study were to estimate the frequency of active and past H. pylori infection utilizing functional urea breath test (UBT) and serological tests and evaluate factors associated with the infection.
METHODS - A total of 675 school children, 6-13 years of age, participated. UBT was performed to detect active H. pylori infection. Blood samples were obtained to determine iron status and Immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses to the H. pylori whole-cell and to Cag A antigens by antigen-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Weight, height, and sociodemographic characteristics were recorded.
RESULTS - A total of 37.9% (95% Confidence Intervals (CI): 34.2-41.6) of school children had active or past H. pylori infection; of them, 73.8% (CI95% 68.4-79.2) were carrying CagA-positive strain, 26.5% (CI95% 23.2-29.8) had active infection, and 11.4% (95%CI: 9.0-13.8) had evidence of past H. pylori infection. School children with iron deficiency and low height for age had higher risk of H. pylori infection: [OR to active or past infection was 2.30 (CI 95% 1.01-5.23) and to active infection it was 2.64 (CI 95% 1.09-6.44)] compared to school children with normal iron status and height for age or with normal iron status but low height for age or with iron deficiency and normal height for age.
CONCLUSIONS - The estimated prevalence of infection depends of the test utilized. Frequency of H. pylori infection and carrying CagA-positive strains was high in this population. Malnutrition was associated with active H. pylori infection.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Previous studies have shown that the Helicobacter pylori ArsRS two-component signal transduction system contributes to acid-responsive gene expression. To identify additional members of the ArsRS regulon and further investigate the regulatory role of the ArsRS system, we analyzed protein expression in wild-type and arsS null mutant strains. Numerous proteins were differentially expressed in an arsS mutant strain compared to a wild-type strain when the bacteria were cultured at pH 5.0 and also when they were cultured at pH 7.0. Genes encoding 14 of these proteins were directly regulated by the ArsRS system, based on observed binding of ArsR to the relevant promoter regions. The ArsRS-regulated proteins identified in this study contribute to acid resistance (urease and amidase), acetone metabolism (acetone carboxylase), resistance to oxidative stress (thioredoxin reductase), quorum sensing (Pfs), and several other functions. These results provide further definition of the ArsRS regulon and underscore the importance of the ArsRS system in regulating expression of H. pylori proteins during bacterial growth at both neutral pH and acidic pH.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Helicobacter pylori-induced gastritis predisposes to the development of gastric cancer. Increased epithelial tight junction permeability and alterations in apical-junctional complexes are also associated with an increased risk of carcinogenesis. Phosphorylation of myosin regulatory light chain (MLC) by MLC kinase (MLCK) regulates tight junction function. We determined whether MLCK was activated by H pylori and defined the mechanisms through which such activation dysregulates gastric epithelial barrier function.
METHODS - MKN28 gastric epithelial cells were cocultured with the H pylori cag(+) strain 60190 or cagA(-), cagE(-), ureB(-), or vacA(-) mutants. MLC phosphorylation and barrier integrity were determined by immunoblot analysis and transepithelial electrical resistance measurements, respectively. Localization of the tight junction protein occludin was determined by immunocytochemistry in MKN28 cells and INS-GAS mice.
RESULTS - H pylori induced a progressive loss of barrier function that was attenuated by inactivation of ureB, but not cagA, cagE, or vacA. Reductions in transepithelial electrical resistance were also dependent on functional urease activity. H pylori increased MLC phosphorylation in epithelial monolayers; this was significantly decreased by inhibition of MLCK or Rho kinase or by loss of UreB. H pylori infection of either cultured monolayers or hypergastrinemic INS-GAS mice induced occludin endocytosis, reflecting cytoskeletally mediated disruption of tight junctions.
CONCLUSIONS - H pylori increases MLC phosphorylation, occludin internalization and barrier dysfunction in gastric epithelial cells. This process requires functional urease activity and is independent of the cag pathogenicity island or VacA. These data provide new insights into the mechanisms by which H pylori disrupts gastric barrier function.
Inducible NO synthase (iNOS) expression and production of NO are both up-regulated with Helicobacter pylori infection in vivo and in vitro. We determined whether major pathogenicity proteins released by H. pylori activate iNOS by coculturing macrophages with wild-type or mutant strains deficient in VacA, CagA, picB product, or urease (ureA(-)). When filters were used to separate H. pylori from macrophages, there was a selective and significant decrease in stimulated iNOS mRNA, protein, and NO(2)(-) production with the ureA(-) strain compared with wild-type and other mutants. Similarly, macrophage NO(2)(-) generation was increased by H. pylori protein water extracts of all strains except ureA(-). Recombinant urease stimulated significant increases in macrophage iNOS expression and NO(2)(-) production. Taken together, these findings indicate a new role for the essential H. pylori survival factor, urease, implicating it in NO-dependent mucosal damage and carcinogenesis.
Helicobacterpylori causes persistent inflammation in the human stomach, yet only a minority of persons harboring this organism develop peptic ulcer disease or gastric malignancy. H. pylori isolates possess substantial phenotypic and genotypic diversity, which may engender differential host inflammatory responses that influence clinical outcome. For example, strains that possess the cag pathogenicity island induce more severe gastritis and augment the risk for developing peptic ulcer disease and distal gastric cancer. However, important geographic differences in susceptibility to disease exist as clear-cut markers for H. pylori strains that affect certain groups of colonized individuals have little or no predictive power for other populations. Recent investigations that have more precisely delineated mechanisms of H. pylori pathogenesis will ultimately help to define which colonized persons bear the highest risk for subsequent development of clinical disease, and thus enable physicians to appropriately focus diagnostic testing and eradication therapy. Although stratification of disease risk based on H. pylori strain characteristics is unlikely to completely account for differences in clinical outcomes, it is an important first step in helping to understand the biology of long-term interactions between H. pylori and its human host.
Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative bacterial pathogen associated with gastritis, peptic ulceration, and gastric carcinoma. The bacteria express a strong urease activity which is known to be essential for colonization of gnotobiotic pigs and nude mice. UreA and UreB, two structural subunits of the active enzyme, were expressed in the attenuated Salmonella typhimurium live vaccine SL3261 strain. Evaluation of protection against H. pylori was performed in Balb/c mice by oral immunization with a single dose of the vaccine strain. Five weeks after immunization, mice were challenged orally three times with a mouse-adapted H. pylori wild type strain and, six weeks later, mice were sacrificed to determine H. pylori infection by detection of urease activity from the antral region of the mouse stomachs. In several independent experiments, we observed 100% infection with H. pylori in the non-immunized mice and no infection (100% protection) in the mice immunized with S. typhimurium expressing recombinant UreA and UreB. Specific humoral and mucosal antibody responses against UreA and UreB were observed in mice immunized as indicated by western blots and ELISA assays. These data shows that oral immunization of mice with urease subunits delivered by an attenuated Salmonella strain induced a specific immune response and protected mice against H. pylori colonization. Single oral dose immunization with UreA and UreB delivered by a live Salmonella vaccine vector appears to be an attractive candidate for human vaccination against H. pylori infection. In addition, this model will aid to elucidate the effective protection mechanisms against H. pylori in the gastric mucosa.
Helicobacter pylori is highly adapted to its unusual ecological niche in the human stomach. Urease activity permits H. pylori survival at a pH of <4 in vitro and is required for the organism to colonize in animal models. However, urease does not play an important role in the survival of the organism in a pH range between 4 and 7. Other mechanisms of pH homeostasis remain poorly understood, but preliminary studies indicate that novel proteins are produced when H.pylori cells are shifted from pH 7 to 3, and the gene encoding a P-type adenosine triphosphatase that may catalyze NH4+/H+ exchange across the cytoplasmic membrane has been cloned. Mechanisms of pH homeostasis in other enteric bacteria are reviewed and provide insight into additional pathways that may be used by H. pylori. An important adaptation of H. pylori to the gastric environment may be its ability to alter gastric acid secretion. Acute infection is associated with transient hypochlorhydria, whereas chronic infection is associated with hypergastrinemia and decreased somatostatin levels. Thus, the survival of H. pylori in the gastric environment may be attributed to both the development of specialized intrinsic defenses and the organism's ability to induce physiological alterations in the host environment.
BACKGROUND/AIMS - Omeprazole, a benzimidazole proton pump inhibitor, has an antibacterial effect against Helicobacter pylori at neutral pH and inhibits its urease activity. The aim of this study was to characterize H. pylori acid resistance and to determine whether omeprazole effects its survival at low pH.
METHODS - We studied survival of H. pylori and other enteric organisms in buffered solutions (pH 2-7) in the presence or absence of 10 mmol/L urea and/or omeprazole.
RESULTS - In the absence of urea, the acid tolerances of wild-type H. pylori, a urease-negative H. pylori mutant, Escherichia coli, and Proteus mirabilis were similar. In the presence of urea, the survival of the wild-type H. pylori at pH 2 was significantly greater than that of the other organisms. Omeprazole (100 micrograms/mL) had a marked inhibitory effect on the survival of both wild-type and urease-negative H. pylori at low pH, and similar effects on E. coli, P. mirabilis, and Salmonella typhimurium.
CONCLUSIONS - Whereas survival of H. pylori below pH 4 is urease dependent, H. pylori uses non-urease-mediated mechanisms at or above pH 4. Omeprazole inhibits the survival of H. pylori at low pH through a mechanism independent of its effect on urease, an antibacterial effect that extends to other enteric bacteria.
Mucosal and systemic immunologic recognition of cagA by Helicobacter pylori-infected individuals is associated with peptic ulcer disease; however, in the laboratory, expression of cagA is subject to artificial conditions which may not accurately reflect the conditions in host tissues. Gastric antral and body biopsy specimens and serum for anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G serology were obtained from 42 patients. Biopsy specimens were studied by histology, culture, and reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). Oligonucleotide primers specific for H. pylori (16S rRNA, ureA, and cagA) were used to detect bacterial mRNA in gastric biopsy specimens. PCR was performed on DNA from corresponding H. pylori isolates to detect genomic 16S rRNA, ureA, and cagA. Of the 42 patients from whom clinical specimens were obtained, 25 were infected with H. pylori on the basis of both serology and histology or culture (i.e., tissue positive); 13 were negative by serology, histology, and culture; and 4 were positive by serology only. RT-PCR with 16S rRNA primers detected 24 of 25 tissue-positive and 0 of 17 tissue-negative patients (P < 0.001). RT-PCR with ureA primers detected 16 of 25 tissue-positive and 0 of 17 tissue-negative patients (P < 0.001). CagA mRNA was detected by RT-PCR in 14 of 25 gastric biopsy specimens in the tissue-positive group and in 0 of 17 gastric biopsy specimens in the tissue-negative group. PCR of genomic DNA for the presence of the cagA gene in the corresponding bacterial isolates correlated absolutely with cagA gene expression in gastric tissue. These results indicate that RT-PCR is a sensitive and specific method for the detection of the presence of H. pylori and the expression of H. pylori genes in human gastric tissue. Detection of H. pylori gene expression in vivo by this approach may contribute to improving the diagnosis and understanding the pathogenesis of H. pylori infections.