Longitudinal Analysis of Serological Responses of Adults to Helicobacter pylori Antigens

Perez-Perez, Guillermo I.; Maw, Anna M.; Feingold-Link, Lani; Gunn, Jennifer; Bowers, Andrea L.; Minano, Cecilia; Rautelin, Hilpi; Kosunen, Timo U.; Blaser, Martin J.
September 2010
Journal of Infectious Diseases;9/15/2010, Vol. 202 Issue 6, p916
Academic Journal
Because Helicobacter pylori persist for decades in the human stomach, the aim of this study was to examine the long-term course of H. pylori-specific serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses with respect to subclass and antigenic target. We studied paired serum samples obtained in 1973 and in 1994 in Vammala, Finland, from 64 healthy H. pylori-positive adults and from other healthy control subjects. H. pylori serum immunoglobulin A, IgG, and IgG subclass responses were determined by antigen-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. H. pylori-specific IgG1 and IgG4 subtype responses from 47 subjects were similar in 1973 and 1994, but not when compared with unrelated persons. H. pylori-specific IgG1:IgG4 ratios among the participants varied >1000-fold; however, 57 (89.1%) of 64 subjects had an IgG1:IgG4 ratio >1.0, consistent with a predominant IgG1 (Th1) response. Furthermore, ratios in individual hosts were stable over the 21-year period (r = 0.56; P < .001). The immune response to heat shock protein HspA was unchanged in 49 (77%) of the 64 subjects tested; of the 15 whose serostatus changed, all seroconverted and were significantly younger than those whose status did not change. These findings indicate that H. pylori-specific antibody responses are host-specific with IgG1:IgG4 ratios stable over 21 years, IgG1 responses predominating, and HspA seroconversion with aging.


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