Prevalence of the Helicobacter pylori babA2 gene and correlation with the degree of gastritis in infected Slovenian children
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The aims of our study were to determine the prevalence of the babA2 gene within Helicobacter pylori strains circulating in the Slovenian pediatric population, to further clarify its significance in causing inflammation of gastric mucosa in children and to verify whether cagA, vacA, iceA and babA genes work independently or synergistically in causing gastritis. A total of 163 H. pylori isolates obtained from the same number of children were tested for the presence of cagA, vacA and iceA genes using previously established methods, while the babA2 gene was determined using novel polymerase chain reaction assay targeting a 139-bp fragment of the central region of babA2. The babA2 gene was detected in 47.9 % of H. pylori samples. The presence of the babA2 gene was strongly associated with cagA, vacA s1 and vacA m1 genotype. The babA2 status correlated positively with bacterial density score, activity of inflammation and chronic inflammation of gastric mucosa. No significant correlation was found between the babA2 status and the presence of atrophy or intestinal metaplasia. In addition, the activity of gastric inflammation and density score were significantly associated with the coexpression of the cagA, vacA s1, vacA m1 and babA2 genes. The study, which included the largest number of pediatric H. pylori samples to date, confirmed that babA2 gene plays an important role in the pathogenesis of H. pylori gastritis in children. Furthermore, our results suggest that babA2, cagA and vacA s1 and m1 gene products may work synergistically in worsening the inflammation of gastric mucosa.
KeywordsHelicobacter pylori babA2 gene Gastritis Children
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