Document Type


Date of Original Version



H. pylori persists in the human stomach over decades and promotes several adverse clinical sequelae including gastritis, peptic ulcers and gastric cancer that are linked to the induction and subsequent evasion of chronic gastric inflammation. Emerging evidence indicates that H. pylori infection may also protect against asthma and some other immune-mediated conditions through regulatory T cell effects outside the stomach. To characterize the complexity of the CD4+ T cell response generated during H. pylori infection, computational methods were previously used to generate a panel of 90 predicted epitopes conserved among H. pylori genomes that broadly cover HLA Class II diversity for maximum population coverage. Here, these sequences were tested individually for their ability to induce in vitro responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells by interferon-γ ELISpot assay. The average number of spot-forming cells/million PBMCs was significantly elevated in H. pylori-infected subjects over uninfected persons. Ten of the 90 peptides stimulated IFN-γ secretion in the H. pylori-infected group only, whereas two out of the 90 peptides elicited a detectable IFN-γ response in the H. pylori-uninfected subjects but no response in the H. pylori-infected group. Cytokine ELISA measurements performed using in vitro PBMC culture supernatants demonstrated significantly higher levels of TNF-α, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, and TGF-β1 in the H. pylori-infected subjects, whereas IL-17A expression was not related to the subjects H. pylori-infection status. Our results indicate that the human T cell responses to these 90 peptides are generally increased in actively H. pylori-infected, compared with H. pylori-naïve, subjects. This information will improve understanding of the complex immune response to H. pylori, aiding rational epitope-driven vaccine design as well as helping identify other H. pylori epitopes with potentially immunoregulatory effects.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.