AIMS--To investigate the anti Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) spectrotype associated with (a) antral gastritis and duodenal ulcer; (b) the H pylori eradicating treatment. METHODS--Spectrotypic analysis was performed by isoelectric focusing and reverse blotting (IEFRB) in a cross sectional study on sera from 70 patients with antral gastritis and duodenal ulcer. In addition, a longitudinal study was performed on 40 of these patients (20 with antral gastritis and 20 with duodenal ulcer) who underwent eradicating treatment. RESULTS--The cross sectional study showed that the oligoclonal spectrotype was present in 74% of antral gastritis patients and in 85% of duodenal ulcer patients. In only a minority of subjects (23% with antral gastritis and 3% with duodenal ulcer) was a polyclonal spectrotype observed. The longitudinal study showed a reduction in the intensity of the spectrotypic bands in 5/10 antral gastritis patients with eradicated H pylori as opposed to only 2/10 patients without eradication. A reduction was also observed in 6/11 eradicated v 0/9 non-eradicated patients with duodenal ulcer. Collectively, a reduction in the spectrotype was observed in 11/21 patients (52%) who--independently of the disease--underwent H pylori eradication, as opposed to 2/19 of the non-responder patients (10.5%). The polyclonal spectrotype was found exclusively in four patients with antral gastritis, all belonging to the group without eradication of H pylori after eradicating treatment. CONCLUSIONS--The anti H pylori oligoclonal spectrotype is the most common pattern observed in patients with antral gastritis and duodenal ulcer. After H pylori eradicating treatment the spectrotype does not change qualitatively, but the polyclonal pattern seems to be predictive of a poor response to eradication.
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