Magnitude of Vacuolating Cytotoxin A (VACA) in Helicobacter pylori stool antigen and blood antibody-positive asymptomatic young children in Ziway, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Background: Vacuolating Cytotoxin A (VacA) is the major H.pylori toxin that affects multiple cellular activities including cell membrane channel formation, disruption of endosomal /lysosomal function, and detachment of epithelial cells from the basement membrane. The toxin also, interferes with the process of antigen presentation, apoptosis and inhibition of activationinduced proliferation of T lymphocytes. In Ethiopia, information regarding VacA antigen is insufficient. Objective: To determine the magnitude of VacA toxin production in H.pylori positive asymptomatic children at Ziway, Oromia Region, Ethiopia Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in young children from selected schools and health facility in Ziway town. A convenient sampling technique was employed to include study participants who met the inclusion criteria. A structured questionnaire was used to collect sociodemographic and health status data of the study participants. Concentration of circulating VacA was determined by using the BG competitive ELISA antigen detection test kit. Information from the laboratory analysis and questionnaires were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Categorical variables were compared using the chi-square test method. Pearson correlation was made between VacA positivity and test method, gender and age of the children. P < 0.05 was considering being statistically significant. Result: A total of 21 H. pylori stool antigen (Ag) positive and 42 antibody (Ab) positive children aged 4-14 years were recruited (33 male, 30 female).The overall prevalence of VacA was 44.4% (28/63); 18 (64.28%) were male and 10 (35.7%) were female, 60.7% (17/28)of them were in the age group of 9-14 years. VacA positivity rate from stool antigen positives was 10/21 (47.6%) and from blood antibody positives 18/42 (42.9%).In this study there was no statistically significance between VacA prevalence and test method (stool Ag or serum Ab detection), age and sex. Conclusion: The magnitude of H. pylori VacA toxin among asymptomatic children in Ziway, Ethiopia is high and there was no significant association between VacA positivity and age, sex and laboratory test method. Further large scale longitudinal studies should be conducted.



Helicobacter pylori,VAcA, young children, Ziway Ethiopia.