Helicobacter pylori infection in Thailand: A nationwide study of the CagA phenotype

Tomohisa Uchida, Muhammad Miftahussurur, Rapat Pittayanon, Rathakorn Vilaichone, Naruemon Wisedopas, Thawee Ratanachu-Ek, Tetsuko Kishida, Masatsugu Moriyama, Yoshio Yamaoka, Varocha Mahachai

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Background The risk to develop gastric cancer in Thailand is relatively low among Asian countries. In addition, the age-standardized incidence rate (ASR) of gastric cancer in Thailand varies with geographical distribution; the ASR in the North region is 3.5 times higher than that in the South region. We hypothesized that the prevalence of H. pylori infection and diversity of CagA phenotype contributes to the variety of gastric cancer risk in various regions of Thailand. Methods We conducted a nationwide survey within Thailand. We determined H. pylori infection prevalence by detecting H. pylori, using histochemical and immunohistochemical methods. The anti-CagA antibody and anti-East-Asian type CagA antibody (α-EAS Ab), which showed high accuracy in several East Asian countries, were used to determine CagA phenotype. Results Among 1,546 patients from four regions, including 17 provinces, the overall prevalence of H. pylori infection was 45.9% (710/1,546). Mirroring the prevalence of H. pylori infection, histological scores were the lowest in the South region. Of the 710 H. pylori-positive patients, 93.2% (662) were immunoreactive with the anti-CagA antibody. CagA-negative strain prevalence in the South region was significantly higher than that in other regions (17.9%; 5/28; p < 0.05). Overall, only 77 patients (11.6%) were immunoreactive with the α-EAS Ab. There were no differences in the α-EAS Ab immunoreactive rate across geographical regions. Conclusions This is the first study using immunohistochemistry to confirm H. pylori infections across different regions in Thailand. The prevalence of East-Asian type CagA H. pylori in Thailand was low. The low incidence of gastric cancer in Thailand may be attributed to the low prevalence of precancerous lesions. The low incidence of gastric cancer in the South region might be associated with the lower prevalence of H. pylori infection, precancerous lesions, and CagA-positive H. pylori strains, compared with that in the other regions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0136775
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2015


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