Helicobacter pylori in North and South America before Columbus

Yoshio Yamaoka, Etsuro Orito, Masashi Mizokami, Oscar Gutierrez, Naruya Saitou, Tadashi Kodama, Michael S. Osato, Jong G. Kim, Francisco C. Ramirez, Varocha Mahachai, David Y. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


We present a molecular epidemiologic study, based on an analysis of vacA, cagA and cag right end junction genotypes from 1042 Helicobacter pylori isolates, suggesting that H. pylori was present in the New World before Columbus. Eight Native Colombian and Alaskan strains possessed novel vacA and/or cagA gene structures and were more closely related to East Asian than to non-Asian H. pylori. Some Native Alaskan strains appear to have originated in Central Asia and to have arrived after strains found in South America suggesting that H. pylori crossed the Bering Strait from Asia to the New World at different times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-184
Number of pages5
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Apr 24 2002


  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Native American
  • cagA gene
  • vacA gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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