Longitudinal analysis of serological responses of adults to Helicobacter pylori antigens

Guillermo I. Perez-Perez, Anna M. Maw, Lani Feingold-Link, Jennifer Gunn, Andrea L. Bowers, Cecilia Minano, Hilpi Rautelin, Timo U. Kosunen, Martin J. Blaser

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9 Scopus citations


Because Helicobacter pylori persist for decades in the human stomach, the aim of this study was to examine the long-term course of H. pylori-specific serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses with respect to subclass and antigenic target. We studied paired serum samples obtained in 1973 and in 1994 in Vammala, Finland, from 64 healthy H. pylori-positive adults and from other healthy control subjects. H. pylori serum immunoglobulin A, IgG, and IgG subclass responses were determined by antigen-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. H. pylori-specific IgG1 and IgG4 subtype responses from 47 subjects were similar in 1973 and 1994, but not when compared with unrelated persons. H. pylori-specific IgG1:IgG4 ratios among the participants varied 11000-fold; however, 57 (89.1%) of 64 subjects had an IgG1:IgG4 ratio >1.0, consistent with a predominant IgG1 (Th1) response. Furthermore, ratios in individual hosts were stable over the 21- year period (r=0.56; P < .001). The immune response to heat shock protein HspA was unchanged in 49 (77%) of the 64 subjects tested; of the 15 whose serostatus changed, all seroconverted and were significantly younger than those whose status did not change. These findings indicate that H. pylori-specific antibody responses are host-specific with IgG1:IgG4 ratios stable over 21 years, IgG1 responses predominating, and HspA seroconversion with aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)916-923
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Received 18 December 2009; accepted 1 April 2010; electronically published 10 August 2010. Potential conflicts of interest: none reported. Financial support: This study was supported in part by the New York University Center for the Study of Asian American Health, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (grant RO1GM63270), the NIH Research Center for Excellence (award P60 MD00J38-05), and the Diane Belfer Program for Human Microbial Ecology. Reprints or correspondence: Dr Guillermo I. Perez-Perez, 6027W VA Medical Center, 423 E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010 (perezg02@med.nyu.edu).


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