The plasticity region of Helicobacter pylori is a large chromosomal segment including isolate-specific open reading frames with characteristics of pathogenicity islands. It remains unclear whether genes in the plasticity region play a role in the pathogenesis of gastric mucosal inflammation and gastroduodenal disease. Our aim was to assess the role of selected genes in the plasticity region in relation to risk of H. pylori-related disease and the severity of gastric mucosal damage. We used PCR to study the relation of disease outcome and mucosal damage with four genes in the H. pylori plasticity region (jhp0940, jhp0945, jhp0947, and jhp0949) from isolates obtained from both Western (n=296) and East Asian (n=217) patients. The prevalence of jhp0945, jhp0947, and jhp0949 differed significantly between Western and East Asian isolates. In Western isolates, the presence of jhp0945 was significantly associated with gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, and gastric cancer (odds ratios [95% confidence intervals]: 2.27 [1.04 to 4.98], 1.86 [1.03 to 3.34], and 1.92 [1.03 to 3.56], respectively). jhp0940-positive Western isolates were significantly associated with absence of gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer (0.21 [0.05 to 0.94] and 0.31 [0.12 to 0.78], respectively). No significant difference was observed between inflammatory cell infiltration or atrophy and the presence or absence of plasticity region genes. The outcome of H. pylori infections varies widely geographically. These data suggest a possible role for difference in the prevalence of plasticity region genes in the geographic variation in H. pylori-related diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)