Relevance of CagA positivity to clinical course of Helicobacter pylori infection in children

J. Yahav, A. Fradkin, B. Weisselberg, A. Diver-Haver, H. Shmuely, A. Jonas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A potential virulence determinant of Helicobacter pylori is the cagA gene product. To determine the relevance of the expression of CagA to the clinical picture and outcome of H. pylori infection in children, we examined 104 consecutive children diagnosed with H. pylori infection. Serum samples were collected to test for the presence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti-CagA antibodies. Forty-five patients (43%) had antibodies to the CagA protein (group I), and 59 did not (group II). Seropositive patients had a longer prediagnostic history of abdominal pain (P = 0.02), more severe abdominal pain (defined as ulcer pain) (P = 0.05), a higher prevalence of duodenal ulcer (38 versus 7%; P < 0.01), more active chronic gastritis (82 versus 32%; P < 0.001), and a higher titer of serum IgG anti-H. pylori antibodies (P < 0.001). Ninety percent of the patients were monitored for 27 ± 18 months. On multivariate analysis, CagA-negative patients had a 3.8-fold-higher chance of achieving a disease-free state than CagA-positive patients (95% confidence interval, 1.5- to 9.5-fold). We conclude that infection with CagA-producing strains of H. pylori is a risk factor for severe clinical disease and ongoing infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3534-3537
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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