Helicobacter pylorus is considered for chronic gastritis, gastric ulcers and adenocarcinoma and its high infection rate is observed in overcrowded and lower socioeconomic groups in developing countries. This study was designed to identify the role of drinking water in the transmission and prevalence of H. pylori (HP). Selective HP medium was developed for enrichment and presumptive identification of H. pylori by urease, catalase and species specific 16S rRNA tests. The virulence genes (vacA ‘s’ and ‘m’ regions and cagA) of H. pylori in 90 out of 225 H. pylori positive drinking water samples were present (40%). Ten out of 18 biopsies (55.55%) and 15 out of 50 vomiting fluids of gastric disease patients (30%) were also positive for virulence genes. Anti-H. pylori antibodies were also detected in 31 out of 50 patients’ sera. The presence of virulence genes was also directly confirmed by hybridization studies using non-radioactive DNA probes of 16S rRNA, vacA and cagA genes. The presence of H. pylori in water is due to poor sanitary conditions, improper waste disposal and lack of public health education. PCR-based analysis and colony hybridization can be used for detection of H. pylori in clinical and environmental samples.
Keywords: 16S rRNA, cagA, H. pylori, hybridization, PCR, vacA