RESEARCH NETWORK FOR INFECTOGENOMICS
DT-3 H. pylori pathodiagnostics
Epidemiological data suggest that the bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori infects about 20 Mio. German citizens. Infection is mostly asymptomatic, but 10-15% of infected patients suffer from peptic ulceration and 1-2% from gastric cancer. The aim of this project is to develop a simple but efficient procedure to identify gastric infection with a potentially dangerous H. pylori strain. This will be achieved by detection of a special bacterial pathogenicity factor, the so-called tyrosine-phosphorylated CagA protein in biopsy material, or the detection of antibodies against this protein in patient serum. A chronic infection with a corresponding strain confers a high risk for induction of peptic ulceration or gastric cancer. The development of such a test should allow in future not only to detect a chronic gastric infection with H. pylori, but also to determine the potential risk associated with this bacterium. The test might be recommended to all patients suffering from gastric disorders, but it could also be used by asymptomatic subjects. Detection of a potentially dangerous H. pylori strain would include a recommendation to treat the infection by an established antibiotic tripel-therapy. By this procedure the risk to develop peptic ulceration or gastric cancer in future might be significantly reduced for the corresponding subject.