Distribution of Helicobacter pylori cagA, cagE, oipA and vacA in different major ethnic groups in Tehran, Iran
Background and Aim: There are geographical variations in Helicobacter pylori virulence genes; cagA, cagE, vacA and oipA. The present study compared the distribution of these genotypes in major ethnic groups residing in Tehran, Iran and their association with clinical outcomes. Methods: A total of 124 H. pylori-positive patients living in Tehran were enrolled in this study. The ethnic distribution was 74 Persians, 33 Turks and 17 other ethnics including Kurds, Lurs, Afghanis and Arabs. The presence of the cagA, cagE and oipA genes and vacA alleles (signal [s] and middle [m] region) were determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from H. pylori DNA. Results: The cagA-positive status was predominant in all three ethnic groups (e.g. 65% in Persians and 73% in Turks). In contrast, the cagE-positive status was less than half in Persians (47%) and Turks (30%), whereas it was 77% in other ethnicities (P = 0.008). The predominant vacA genotypes were s1 and m1 in all three ethnic groups (e.g. 68% in Persians and 70% in Turks were s1). There was no significant association between cagA and cagE status or vacA genotypes and clinical outcomes. The oipA-positive strains were more common in non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD) (63%) than in peptic ulcer patients (15%) (P = 0.001) in Persians, but the association was not observed in other ethnic groups. Conclusion: There are some differences in the H. pylori genotypes among the ethnic groups in Iran. However, none of these markers seemed to be clinically helpful in predicting the clinical presentation of a H. pylori infection in Iran.