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Horizontal versus familial transmission of Helicobacter pylori.

Schwarz, S; Morelli, G; Kusecek, B; Manica, A; Balloux, F; Owen, RJ; Graham, DY; ... Suerbaum, S; + view all (2008) Horizontal versus familial transmission of Helicobacter pylori. PLoS Pathog , 4 (10) , Article e1000180. 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000180. Green open access

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Transmission of Helicobacter pylori is thought to occur mainly during childhood, and predominantly within families. However, due to the difficulty of obtaining H. pylori isolates from large population samples and to the extensive genetic diversity between isolates, the transmission and spread of H. pylori remain poorly understood. We studied the genetic relationships of H. pylori isolated from 52 individuals of two large families living in a rural community in South Africa and from 43 individuals of 11 families living in urban settings in the United Kingdom, the United States, Korea, and Colombia. A 3,406 bp multilocus sequence haplotype was determined for a total of 142 H. pylori isolates. Isolates were assigned to biogeographic populations, and recent transmission was measured as the occurrence of non-unique isolates, i.e., isolates whose sequences were identical to those of other isolates. Members of urban families were almost always infected with isolates from the biogeographic population that is common in their location. Non-unique isolates were frequent in urban families, consistent with familial transmission between parents and children or between siblings. In contrast, the diversity of H. pylori in the South African families was much more extensive, and four distinct biogeographic populations circulated in this area. Non-unique isolates were less frequent in South African families, and there was no significant correlation between kinship and similarity of H. pylori sequences. However, individuals who lived in the same household did have an increased probability of carrying the same non-unique isolates of H. pylori, independent of kinship. We conclude that patterns of spread of H. pylori under conditions of high prevalence, such as the rural South African families, differ from those in developed countries. Horizontal transmission occurs frequently between persons who do not belong to a core family, blurring the pattern of familial transmission that is typical of developed countries. Predominantly familial transmission in urban societies is likely a result of modern living conditions with good sanitation and where physical contact between persons outside the core family is limited and regulated by societal rules. The patterns observed in rural South African families may be representative of large parts of the developing world.

Type: Article
Title: Horizontal versus familial transmission of Helicobacter pylori.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000180
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1000180
Language: English
Additional information: © 2008 Schwarz et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: This study was supported by grants Su133/6-2 (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), LSHC-CT-2005-018704 (EU 6th Research Framework Programme, project INCA), and the ERA-NET PathoGenoMics (project HELDIVNET) to S.S., Ac36/12 (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) and 05/FE1/B882 (Scientific Foundation of Ireland) to M.A. and a South African Gastroenterology Society (SAGES)/Astra-Zeneca fellowship to S.v.d.M.. None of the funders had any role in the design and conduct of the study, in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data, and in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.
Keywords: Colombia, Disease Transmission, Infectious, Family, Genetic Variation, Great Britain, Haplotypes, Helicobacter Infections, Helicobacter pylori, Humans, Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical, Korea, Mosaicism, Pedigree, Prevalence, Rural Population, South Africa, United States, Urban Population
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1341666
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