Folia Microbiologica

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 143–151 | Cite as

Characterization of clarithromycin heteroresistance among Helicobacter pylori strains isolated from the antrum and corpus of the stomach

  • Nastaran Farzi
  • Catherine Behzad
  • Zahra Hasani
  • Masoud AlebouyehEmail author
  • Homayoun ZojajiEmail author
  • Mohammad Reza Zali
Original Article


Mixed infections and heteroresistance of Helicobacter pylori contribute to decreased efficacy of treatments. This study aimed to investigate frequency of clarithromycin heteroresistance and its link with mixed infections, medication history, and disease severity. A total of 40 pairs of H. pylori strains were isolated from the antrum and corpus of 97 patients. Susceptibility of the strains to clarithromycin was measured by agar dilution method. Site-specific mutations of 23S rRNA at A2143G, A2142G, and A2142C positions were analyzed by PCR and genomic relatedness of pairs of the strains was determined by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR. The results showed a prevalence of 35% (14/40) clarithromycin resistance. Diversity of the antrum and corpus isolates in resistance to clarithromycin was detected among 17.5% (7/40) of the patients. Similarly, diversity in MIC value was also detected in two patients infected with the sensitive strains. Significant difference in frequency of resistance was detected among patients with peptic ulcer disease (PUD) (MIC90 32 μg/mL) and severe gastritis (MIC90 16 μg/mL), compared with those who suffered from non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD) (MIC90 8 μg/mL) and chronic gastritis (MIC90 0.25 μg/mL). MIC values showed 8–32 folds increased levels in the corpus. A2142G, A2143G, and A2142C mutations were detected in three, two, and two patients, respectively, but not observed in 46% of the resistant strains. RAPD-PCR fingerprints showed identical molecular patterns for the isolates of the corpus and antrum in each patient. In conclusion, microevolution of H. pylori strains during chronic infection, rather than mixed infection, and inappropriate medication appear to be main reasons of treatment failure in adults.



The authors of this article like to thank all staff of endoscopy unit of Ayatollah Taleghani Hospital and Foodborne and Waterborne Diseases Research Center for their sincere help and assistance.

Funding information

This study was part of a fellowship dissertation and financially supported by a grant from Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nastaran Farzi
    • 1
  • Catherine Behzad
    • 2
  • Zahra Hasani
    • 1
  • Masoud Alebouyeh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Homayoun Zojaji
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mohammad Reza Zali
    • 2
  1. 1.Foodborne and Waterborne Diseases Research Center, Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver DiseasesShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases Research Center, Research Institute for Gastroenterology and Liver DiseasesShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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