Aim: Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) has been linked to chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, gastric cancer and MALT-lymphoma. The link of genotypes of H pylori to gastric cancer remains controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the H pylori vacA alleles, cagA and iceA in patients with gastric cancer in Taiwan. Methods: Patients with gastric cancer, peptic ulcer and chronic gastritis were enrolled in this study. We obtained biopsy specimens from the stomach at least 2 cm away from the tumor margin in patients with gastric cancer, and from the antrum of stomach in patients with peptic ulcer or chronic gastritis. DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction were used to detect the presence or absence of cagA and to assess the polymorphism of vacA and iceA. Results: A total of 168 patients (gastric ulcer: 77, duodenal ulcer: 66, and chronic gastritis: 25) were found to have positive PCR results of the biopsy specimens from patients with peptic ulcer and chronic gastritis. We found positive cagA (139/168, 83%), m2 (84/168, 50%) and iceA1 (125/168, 74%) strains in the majority of patients. In patients with gastric cancer, the vacA s1a and s1c subtypes were less commonly found than those in non-cancer patients (35/66 vs 127/168, P=0.0001 for s1a and 13/66 vs 93/168, P<0.0001 for s1c). In the middle region, the m1T strain in patients with gastric cancer was more than that of non-cancer patients (23/66 vs 33/168, P=0.02). Conclusion: In Taiwan, H pylori with positive vacA s1a, cagA and iceA1 strains are found in the majority of patients with gastric cancer or non-cancer patients. In patients with gastric cancer, the vacA s1a and s1c subtypes are less and m1T is more than in patients with peptic ulcer and chronic gastritis.
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