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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Greaves, Ronda / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter

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Volume 51, Issue 5


Helicobacter pylori serology in autoimmune diseases – fact or fiction?

Maya Ram
  • The Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Disease, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
  • MR and OB contributed equally to the article.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ori Barzilai
  • The Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Disease, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
  • MR and OB contributed equally to the article.
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Yinon Shapira / Juan-Manuel Anaya
  • Center for Autoimmune Diseases Research (CREA), Rosario University Medellin, Bogotá, Colombia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Angela Tincani
  • Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Spedali Civili and University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ljudmila Stojanovich / Stefano Bombardieri / Nicola Bizzaro / Shaye Kivity
  • Department of Medicine ‘A & C’ Rheumatic Disease Unit, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Nancy Agmon Levin / Yehuda Shoenfeld
  • Corresponding author
  • Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Incumbent of the Laura Schwarz-KipChair for Research of Autoimmune Diseases, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
  • Head of the Zabludowicz, Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer 52621, Israel
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2012-10-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2012-0477


Background: The pathogenesis of autoimmunity is presumed to be a complex process including genetic predisposition, hormonal balance and environmental factors such as infectious agents. Helicobacter pylori, a common bacterial infectious agent has been associated with a variety of autoimmune disorders. However, this bacteria is also thought to play a protective role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We tested various links between anti-H. pylori (anti-HP) antibodies and a wide profile of autoimmune diseases and autoantibodies.

Methods: A total of 1290 patients diagnosed with 14 different autoimmune diseases from two geographical areas (Europe and Latin America) and two groups of healthy matching controls (n=385) were screened for the presence of H. pylori IgG antibodies by “pylori detect” kit. In parallel, a large profile belonging to three groups of autoantibodies was tested in all sera (anti-nuclear antibodies, autoantibodies associated with thrombophilia and gastrointestinal diseases).

Results: Our data demonstrate associations between anti-HP antibodies and anti-phospholipid syndrome, giant cell arteritis, systemic sclerosis and primary biliary cirrhosis. Our data also support a previously known negative association between the prevalence of anti-HP antibodies and IBD. Additionally, links were made between seropositivity to H. pylori and the presence of anti-nuclear antibodies, dsDNA, anti-Ro and some thrombophilia-associated antibodies, as well as negative associations with gastrointestinal-associated antibodies.

Conclusions: Whether these links are epiphenomenal or H. pylori does play a causative role in the autoimmune diseases remains uncertain. The negative associations could possibly support the notion that in susceptible individuals infections may protect from the development of autoimmune diseases.

Keywords: antibodies; autoantibodies; autoimmune diseases; autoimmunity; Helicobacter pylori; infection


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About the article

Corresponding author: Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld, MD, FRCP, Head of the Zabludowicz, Center for Autoimmune Diseases, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer 52621, Israel, Phone: +972 3 5308070, Fax: +972 3 5352855

Received: 2012-07-24

Accepted: 2012-09-19

Published Online: 2012-10-18

Published in Print: 2013-05-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Volume 51, Issue 5, Pages 1075–1082, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2012-0477.

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