Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Comparative genomics of Helicobacter pylori isolates recovered from ulcer disease patients in England

Farhana Kauser1, M Abid Hussain1, Irshad Ahmed3, Sriramula Srinivas1, S Manjulata Devi1, Ahmed A Majeed1, K Rajender Rao1, Aleem A Khan23, Leonardo A Sechi24 and Niyaz Ahmed12*

Author Affiliations

1 Pathogen Evolution Group, Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Biology, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad, India

2 ISOGEM Working Group on Genetics of Helicobacters [International Society for Genomic and Evolutionary Microbiology (ISOGEM)], Hyderabad, India

3 Deccan Medical College and Allied Hospitals, Hyderabad, India

4 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy

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BMC Microbiology 2005, 5:32  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-5-32

Published: 25 May 2005



Genomic diversity of H. pylori from many different human populations is largely unknown. We compared genomes of 65 H. pylori strains from Nottingham, England. Molecular analysis was carried out to identify rearrangements within and outside the cag-pathogenicity-island (cag PAI) and DNA sequence divergence in candidate genes. Phylogenetic analysis was carried out based on various high-resolution genotyping techniques.


Analyses of virulence genes (cagT, cagE, cagA, vacA, iceA, oipA and babB) revealed that H. pylori strains from England are genetically distinct from strains obtained from other countries. The toxigenic vacA s1m1 genotype was found to be less common and the plasticity region cluster was found to be disrupted in all the isolates. English isolates showed a predominance of iceA1 alleles and a functional proinflammatory oipA gene. The English H. pylori gene pool revealed several Asian/oriental features. This included the predominance of cagA – glr (cagA right junction) motif types III and II (up to 42%), presence of vacA m1c alleles and phylogenetic affinity towards East Asian / Amerindian gene pools based on fluorescent amplified fragment length polymorphism (FAFLP) analysis and glmM sequence analysis.


Overall, our results demonstrated genetic affinities of H. pylori in England with both European and the Asian gene pools and some distinctive genetic features of virulence genes that may have evolved in this important European population.