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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Concurrent genotyping of Helicobacter pylori virulence genes and human cytokine SNP sites using whole genome amplified DNA derived from minute amounts of gastric biopsy specimen DNA

Anna Ryberg13, Kurt Borch13, Yi-Qian Sun1 and Hans-Jürg Monstein23*

Author Affiliations

1 Divisions of Surgery, University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden

2 Clinical Microbiology, University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden

3 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medical, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden

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BMC Microbiology 2008, 8:175  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-8-175

Published: 8 October 2008



Bacterial and cellular genotyping is becoming increasingly important in the diagnosis of infectious diseases. However, difficulties in obtaining sufficient amount of bacterial and cellular DNA extracted from the same human biopsy specimens is often a limiting factor. In this study, total DNA (host and bacterial DNA) was isolated from minute amounts of gastric biopsy specimens and amplified by means of whole genome amplification using the multiple displacement amplification (MDA) technique. Subsequently, MDA-DNA was used for concurrent Helicobacter pylori and human host cellular DNA genotyping analysis using PCR-based methods.


Total DNA was isolated from gastric biopsy specimens of 12 subjects with gastritis and 16 control subjects having a normal mucosa. The DNA was amplified using a multiple displacement amplification (MDA) kit. Next, concurrent genotyping was performed using H. pylori-specific virulence gene PCR amplification assays, pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rDNA and PCR characterisation of various host genes. This includes Interleukin 1-beta (IL1B) and Interferon-gamma receptor (IFNGR1) SNP analysis, and Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL1RN) variable tandem repeats (VNTR) in intron 2. Finally, regions of the vacA-gene were PCR amplified using M13-sequence tagged primers which allowed for direct DNA sequencing, omitting cloning of PCR amplicons. H. pylori specific multiplex PCR assays revealed the presence of H. pylori cagA and vacA genotypic variations in 11 of 12 gastritis biopsy specimens. Using pyrosequencing, 16S rDNA variable V3 region signatures of H. pylori were found in 11 of 12 individuals with gastritis, but in none of the control subjects. Similarly, IL1B and IFNGR1-SNP and IL1RN-VNTR patterns could be established in all individuals. Furthermore, sequencing of M13-sequence tagged vacA-PCR amplicons revealed the presence of highly diverse H. pylori vacA-s/i/m regions.


The PCR-based molecular typing methods applied, using MDA-amplified DNA derived from small amounts of gastric biopsy specimens, enabled a rapid and concurrent molecular analysis of bacterial and host genes in the same biopsy specimen. The principles and technologies used in this study could also be applied to any situation in which human host and microbial genes of interest in microbial-host interactions would need to be sequenced.