BACKGROUND The increasing use of macrolides especially in the treatment ofHelicobacter pylori infection has led to an increase in resistant strains. The resistance of H pylori to macrolides, especially clarithromycin, is one of the major causes of eradication failure. In H pylori, clarithromycin resistance is due to point mutations localised in domain V of 23S rRNA.
AIM To develop a molecular technique based on amplification of a relevant fragment of the 23S rRNA and colorimetric hybridisation in liquid phase to detect directly in biopsy specimens the type of mutation associated with resistance of H pylori to clarithromycin.
METHODS Gastric biopsy samples from 61 patients were submitted to this test. The results were compared with standard methods (determination of minimal inhibition concentration, polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism, and/or DNA sequencing) in order to evaluate the test and to define the cut off values, specificity, and sensitivity.
RESULTS The 14 biopsy samples in which H pylori was not detected did not give a positive result in any assay, and the 14 samples harbouring strains susceptible to clarithromycin gave a positive result with the wild type probe as expected. The 33 biopsy specimens containing resistant strains always gave a positive signal with one of the probes detecting resistant organisms, but in eight cases they also reacted with the wild type probe, indicating that a mixture of resistant and susceptible organisms was present.
CONCLUSION The importance of this new assay is that it allows the detection of multiple genotypes corresponding to either heterogeneous genotypes or mixed infections. Moreover, it allows in a single step not only the detection of H pylori but also the determination of its susceptibility to clarithromycin directly in biopsy specimens without the need for culture.
- Helicobacter pylori
- polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
- minimal inhibition concentration
- polymerase chain reaction
- DNA enzyme immunoassay
- restriction fragment length polymorphism
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