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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Gut Pathogens 1/2017

Phylogenomics of Colombian Helicobacter pylori isolates

Gut Pathogens > Ausgabe 1/2017
Andrés Julián Gutiérrez-Escobar, Esperanza Trujillo, Orlando Acevedo, María Mercedes Bravo
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s13099-017-0201-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



During the Spanish colonisation of South America, African slaves and Europeans arrived in the continent with their corresponding load of pathogens, including Helicobacter pylori. Colombian strains have been clustered with the hpEurope population and with the hspWestAfrica subpopulation in multilocus sequence typing (MLST) studies. However, ancestry studies have revealed the presence of population components specific to H. pylori in Colombia. The aim of this study was to perform a thorough phylogenomic analysis to describe the evolution of the Colombian urban H. pylori isolates.


A total of 115 genomes of H. pylori were sequenced with Illumina technology from H. pylori isolates obtained in Colombia in a region of high risk for gastric cancer. The genomes were assembled, annotated and underwent phylogenomic analysis with 36 reference strains. Additionally, population differentiation analyses were performed for two bacterial genes. The phylogenetic tree revealed clustering of the Colombian strains with hspWestAfrica and hpEurope, along with three clades formed exclusively by Colombian strains, suggesting the presence of independent evolutionary lines for Colombia. Additionally, the nucleotide diversity of horB and vacA genes from Colombian isolates was lower than in the reference strains and showed a significant genetic differentiation supporting the hypothesis of independent clades with recent evolution.


The presence of specific lineages suggest the existence of an hspColombia subtype that emerged from a small and relatively isolated ancestral population that accompanied crossbreeding of human population in Colombia.
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