Narender Kumar 1 , Vanitha Mariappan 2 , Ramani Baddam 1 , Aditya K. Lankapalli 1 , Sabiha Shaik 1 , Khean-Lee Goh 3 , Mun Fai Loke 2 , Tim Perkins 4 , Mohammed Benghezal 4 , Seyed E. Hasnain 5 , Jamuna Vadivelu 2 , Barry J. Marshall 4 , Niyaz Ahmed 1 , 6 , *
01 December 2014
The discordant prevalence of Helicobacter pylori and its related diseases, for a long time, fostered certain enigmatic situations observed in the countries of the southern world. Variation in H. pylori infection rates and disease outcomes among different populations in multi-ethnic Malaysia provides a unique opportunity to understand dynamics of host–pathogen interaction and genome evolution. In this study, we extensively analyzed and compared genomes of 27 Malaysian H. pylori isolates and identified three major phylogeographic lineages: hspEastAsia, hpEurope and hpSouthIndia. The analysis of the virulence genes within the core genome, however, revealed a comparable pathogenic potential of the strains. In addition, we identified four genes limited to strains of East-Asian lineage. Our analyses identified a few strain-specific genes encoding restriction modification systems and outlined 311 core genes possibly under differential evolutionary constraints, among the strains representing different ethnic groups. The cagA and vacA genes also showed variations in accordance with the host genetic background of the strains. Moreover, restriction modification genes were found to be significantly enriched in East-Asian strains. An understanding of these variations in the genome content would provide significant insights into various adaptive and host modulation strategies harnessed by H. pylori to effectively persist in a host-specific manner.