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Open Access Open Badges Technical Note

Application of PCR amplicon sequencing using a single primer pair in PCR amplification to assess variations in Helicobacter pylori CagA EPIYA tyrosine phosphorylation motifs

Hans-Jürg Monstein13*, Anneli Karlsson3, Anna Ryberg1 and Kurt Borch23

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Microbiology, Molecular Biology Laboratory, University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden

2 Division of Surgery, University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden

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

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:35  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-35

Published: 10 February 2010



The presence of various EPIYA tyrosine phosphorylation motifs in the CagA protein of Helicobacter pylori has been suggested to contribute to pathogenesis in adults. In this study, a unique PCR assay and sequencing strategy was developed to establish the number and variation of cagA EPIYA motifs.


MDA-DNA derived from gastric biopsy specimens from eleven subjects with gastritis was used with M13- and T7-sequence-tagged primers for amplification of the cagA EPIYA motif region. Automated capillary electrophoresis using a high resolution kit and amplicon sequencing confirmed variations in the cagA EPIYA motif region. In nine cases, sequencing revealed the presence of AB, ABC, or ABCC (Western type) cagA EPIYA motif, respectively. In two cases, double cagA EPIYA motifs were detected (ABC/ABCC or ABC/AB), indicating the presence of two H. pylori strains in the same biopsy.


Automated capillary electrophoresis and Amplicon sequencing using a single, M13- and T7-sequence-tagged primer pair in PCR amplification enabled a rapid molecular typing of cagA EPIYA motifs. Moreover, the techniques described allowed for a rapid detection of mixed H. pylori strains present in the same biopsy specimen.