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Revista colombiana de Gastroenterología

Print version ISSN 0120-9957


MELO-NARVAEZ, M. Camila et al. Genotyping of cagA and the intermediate region of vacA in strains of Helicobacter pylori isolated from Colombian adult patients and associations with gastric diseases. Rev Col Gastroenterol [online]. 2018, vol.33, n.2, pp.103-110. ISSN 0120-9957.


This study characterizes the diversity of cagA and vacA virulence genes in Colombian patients to determine possible associations between them and the severity of endoscopic findings. It considers all four genotypes reported for the vacA gene (s, m and i).

Materials and methods:

Helicobacter pylori was detected in biopsies of 62 patients through culturing and by molecular methods. Genotypes of cagA and vacA (m/i/s) were determined by PCR and sequencing.


One hundred twenty four strains from 62 patients were isolated. Of these, 48.5% (n = 48) were vacA s2/m2/i2 - cagA (-) which were mostly found in patients with follicular gastritis; 32.3% (n = 32) were vacA s1/m1/i1-cagA (+) which were mostly found in patients with follicular gastritis, chronic gastritis and possible metaplasia. Significant associations were found between the presence of cagA and the vacA s1/m1/i1 genotype and the absence of cagA and the vacA s2/m2/i2 genotype (p <0.001). No significant association was found between the severity of endoscopic findings and the cagA-vacA status of the strains.


We found a low prevalence of cagA (+) strains, the cagA-vacA status is not a predictor of risk in this population. Moreover, the presence of heterogenous infections without tropism suggests a need for biopsies from both the corpus and the antrum of the stomach in routine clinical practice.

Keywords : vacA subtypes; cagA; Helicobacter pylori; Colombia.

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