Antibiotic resistance and clonal relatedness of Helicobacter pylori strains isolated from stomach biopsy specimens in northeast of Iran

Sara Hamidi, Farzad Badmasti, Fatemah Sadeghpour Heravi, Mohammed Hossein Safapoor, Amir Mohammad Ali Tabrizi, Mohammad Ghorbani, Omid Azizi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Resistant Helicobacter pylori to commonly used antimicrobial agents are associated with severe upper gastrointestinal disorders. To provide an epidemiological picture of H pylori and characterize the resistance pattern and genetic variation of clinical isolates, stomach biopsies from patients with functional dyspepsia were evaluated in northeast of Iran. Materials and methods: In this study, 80 patients were recruited. Finally, fifty H pylori strains were isolated from antrum and corpus biopsies by culturing on Columbia agar. All strains were identified by standard laboratory procedures. Susceptibility testing of antibiotics was performed using minimum inhibitory concentration test. Allele-specific primer (ASP)-PCR of 23S rRNA which associated with clarithromycin resistance was done among resistant strains. Moreover, cagA gene and polymorphism in vacA were detected. Random amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) was applied to investigate the genetic variations among all strains. Results: Antibiotic resistance pattern of H pylori strains was as follows: 68% (34/50) to metronidazole, 50% (25/50) to rifampicin, 30% (15/50) to amoxicillin, 28% (14/50) to levofloxacin, 22% (11/50) to clarithromycin, and 16% (8/50) to tetracycline. Multidrug-resistant strains were observed in 19 strains (38%). ASP-PCR of 23S rRNA showed four strains had A2143G mutation, six strains had A2142G mutation, and one strain had a Wt+A2143G mutation. Amplification of virulence-associated genes revealed that cagA was present in 27 isolates (54%) and vacA in 36 isolates (72%). The most common genotype of H pylori was vacA s1am2 (40%) followed by vacA s2m2 (14%), vacA s1am1 (12%), vacA s1bm1 (4%), and vacA s1bm2 (2%). DNA fingerprinting pattern indicated a high heterogeneity among isolated strains. Conclusion: An alarming level of resistance to metronidazole and rifampicin and high heterogeneity among H pylori isolates highlighted the importance of continued monitoring of antimicrobial susceptibility and epidemiological surveillance of this pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12684
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • antibiotic resistance and clonal relatedness
  • Helicobacter pylori


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