• immunoproteomics;
  • bacterial virulence factors;
  • duodenal ulcer;
  • immunogenicity


Helicobacter pylori colonizes the stomach of almost half the world population and is a causative agent of gastric carcinomas and duodenal ulcers. Only a small fraction of infected people will develop these severe illnesses and a predictive test to identify people at high risk would greatly benefit disease management. Our study aimed to identify conserved bacterial antigens that may be useful for the development of such a diagnostic test. High-resolution immunoproteomics by 2-dimensional electrophoresis of H. pylori 26695 proteins was carried out with sera from infected patients with either duodenal ulcer (n=30) or gastric carcinoma (n=30), 2 clinically divergent conditions. According to their antigen recognition patterns clear groups of patients were identified. Although this classification did not correspond to the clinical status, it may be correlated to other bacterial or host factors that influence the outcome of infection. In general antigen recognition patterns were found to be highly variable, however by utilizing powerful image analysis and statistical tests the recognition of 14 antigenic protein species was found to differ significantly (p<0.01) between both diseases. Particular protein species of GroEL, HyuA, GroES and AtpA appear to be useful surrogate markers for gastric carcinoma detection and consequently should be considered for further prospective studies to assess their predictive value. For one protein species of AtpA, evidence was found that different post-translational modifications may confer different immunogenicities. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.