Comparison of the virulence markers of helicobacter pylori and their associated diseases in patients from Pakistan and Afghanistan

Javed Yakoob, Zaigham Abbas, Wasim Jafri, Muhammad W. Usman, Fatima Jafri, Safia Awan

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aim: Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative bacteria, which is associated with development of gastroduodenal diseases. The prevalence of H. pylori and the virulence markers cytotoxin-associated gene A and E (cagA, cagE) and vacuolating-associated cytotoxin gene (vacA) alleles varies in different parts of the world. H. pylori virulence markers cagA, cagE, and vacA alleles in local and Afghan nationals with H. pylori-associated gastroduodenal diseases were studied. Patients and Methods: Two hundred and ten patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms and positive for H. pylori by the urease test and histology were included. One hundred and nineteen were local nationals and 91 were Afghans. The cagA, cagE, and vacA allelic status was determined by polymerase chain reaction. Results: The nonulcer dyspepsia (NUD) was common in the Afghan patients (P = 0.025). In Afghan H. pylori strains, cagA was positive in 14 (82%) with gastric carcinoma (GC) compared with 29 (45%) with NUD (P = 0.006), whereas cagE was positive in 11 (65%) with GC and 4 (67%) with duodenal ulcer (DU) compared with 12 (18%) with NUD (P < 0.001 and 0.021, respectively). The vacA s1a/b1was positive in 10 (59%) of GC compared with 20 (31%) in NUD (P = 0.033). In Pakistani strains, cagE was positive in 12 (60%) with GC, 7 (58%) with GU, 12 (60%) with DU compared with 11 (16%) with NUD (P < 0.001, 0.004, and < 0.001, respectively). In Pakistani strains, cagA/s1a/m1 was 39 (33%) compared with Afghans in 17 (19%) (P = 0.022). Moderate to severe mucosal inflammation was present in 51 (43%) Pakistani patients compared with 26 (28%) (P = 0.033) in Afghans. It was also associated with grade 1 lymphoid aggregate development in Pakistani patients 67 (56%) compared with 36 (40%) (P = 0.016) in Afghans. Conclusion: Distribution of H. pylori virulence marker cagE with DU was similar in Afghan and Pakistan H. pylori strains. Chronic active inflammation was significantly associated with Pakistani H. pylori strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalSaudi Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • Helicobacter pylori
  • cagA
  • cagE
  • gastric carcinoma
  • gastritis


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