Helicobacter pylori babA2 Positivity Predicts Risk of Gastric Cancer in Ardabil, a Very High-Risk Area in Iran


Background: Ardabil, a Northwestern province of Iran, was found to have the highest rate of gastric cancer (GC) in the country (ASRs = 51.8/100,000 for males and 24.9/100,000 for females) and one of the highest gastric cardia cancer rates in the world. The aim of the present study was to assess the associations of the cagA and babA2 status of Helicobacter pylori with GC in the Ardabil population. Materials and
Methods: A total of 103 patients with non-atrophic gastritis (56) and GC (47), who underwent endoscopy at the Imam Khomeini Hospital in Ardabil, were assessed. The status of 16S rDNA, cagA and babA2 genes was determined using PCR and histopathological assessment was performed.
Results: The following genotypic frequency was observed: cagA+ (50.6%), cagA– (49.4%), babA2+ (26.5%), babA2– (73.5%) cagA+/babA2+ (19.3%), cagA–/babA2+ (7.2%), cagA+/babA2– (31.3%), cagA–/babA2– (42.2%). Although the frequency of the cagA+, cagA+/babA2+ and cagA–/ babA2+ genotypes in patients with GC (55.6%, 25.9%, and 14.8%, respectively) was higher than in those with NAG (48.2%, 16.1%, and 3.6%, respectively), the difference did not reach significance. In contrast, the presence of the babA2 gene (40.7% vs 19.6%) significantly increased the risk of GC; the age-sex-adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) was 5.068 (1.506-17.058; P=0.009), by multiple logistic regression.
Conclusions: It is proposed that the H. pylori babA2 positivity might be considered as an important determinant of GC risk in Ardabil.