Most Helicobacter pylori-Infected Patients Have Specific Antibodies, and Some Also Have H. pylori Antigens and Genomic Material in Bile: Is It a Risk Factor for Gallstone Formation?
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- Figura, N., Cetta, F., Angelico, M. et al. Dig Dis Sci (1998) 43: 854. doi:10.1023/A:1018838719590
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Bile may contain a 130-kDa protein endowed withaminopeptidase activity and the ability to promotecholesterol crystallisation. As > 90% of H. pyloristrains have a similar peptidase activity, and half the isolates express a 110- to 140-kDa antigen, theCagA protein, we investigated a possible associationbetween H. pylori infection and gallstones, and thepresence in bile samples of factors related to H. pylori that could increase cholesterolcrystallization. The prevalence of H. pylori infectionwas 82.1% in 112 patients with gallstones and 80.3% in112 controls (NS). Fifteen bile samples out of 23specimens from infected patients (65.2%) containedanti-CagA antibodies. A ~60-kDa antigen only reactingwith an anti-CagA antibody was found in five bilesamples (21.7%) from 23 infected patients. One bilesample (4.1%) contained ureA and cagA genes of H.pylori. The homology of CagA with the N-terminalsequence of aminopeptidase N was very low. We concludedthat the presence of specific antibody to H. pylori in most bile samples tested and of an H. pyloriputative antigen in a discrete number of cases mayrepresent factors that increase the risk of gallstoneformation.