Prevalence estimates of Helicobacter species infection in pancreatic and biliary tract cancers

HelicobacterOsaki T, Lin Y, Sasahira N, et al. | January 12, 2022

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Studies have established a correlation of Helicobacter pylori infection with the risk for gastric cancer as well as with other gastrointestinal diseases, including pancreatic and biliary tract cancers. Researchers herein sought to determine the relevance of enterohepatic non-H. pylori helicobacters to the pathophysiology of these diseases.

  • In the framework of a hospital-based case-control study involving 121 patients with biliary tract cancer, pancreatic cancer, or other gastrointestinal diseases, the prevalence of two enterohepatic non-H. pylori helicobacters (Helicobacter hepaticus and Helicobacter bilis) were estimated.

  • Bile and blood samples obtained from the patients undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography were examined for the presence of H. bilis, H. hepaticus, and other Helicobacter spp..

  • No success was achieved in culture of Helicobacter spp. from biliary brush samples.

  • Positive test was recorded for one of the enterohepatic non-H. pylori helicobacter species in nearly 13.0% (15/115) of the bile samples obtained from patients with a variety of gastrointestinal cancers, including pancreatic and biliary tract cancers.

  • Approximately 20%–40% of the patients tested positive for serum non-H. pylori helicobacter IgG antibodies.

  • There appeared higher seroprevalence of H. bilis and H. hepaticus in the patients without evidence of H. pylori infection in the pancreatic cancer group vs the control group.

  • Overall findings suggest that Helicobacter spp., especially H. bilis and H. hepaticus, may have a role in the etiology of pancreatic and biliary tract cancers.

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