Preeclampsia is a major cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.
Epidemiological association between Helicobacter pylori infection, and preeclampsia onset has been widely shown.
Dr Francesco Franceschi and colleagues from Italy analyzed a possible correlation between Hp infection and the severity of clinical presentation of preeclampsia, and identified an immunologic mechanism triggered by Hp infection potentially contributing to the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.
Sera from 93 preeclamptic women and 87 healthy pregnant women were tested for Hp infection by immunoassay, and for anti-CagA antibodies by Western blot assay.
The research team correlated serologic results with the clinical features of preeclampsia.
|Seropositivity for CagA-positive strains of H.pylori was 45% in preeclamptic women|
The functional effect of serum IgG fractions, positive or negative for Helicobacter pylori, from preeclamptic women or controls were tested on trophoblast and endothelial cell cultures and in a murine model of angiogenesis.
The team noted that preeclamptic women showed higher seroprevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection compared to controls.
The researchers observed that seropositivity for CagA-positive strains of Helicobacter pylori was 45% in preeclamptic women vs 14% in controls.
In preeclamptic women, Helicobacter pylori infection was associated with abnormality of uterine arteries Doppler.
The team explained that Helicobacter pylori + IgG fractions from preeclamptic women bound to trophoblast and endometrial endothelial cell cultures, reducing in vitro invasiveness and angiogenesis, respectively, and inhibited angiogenesis in mice.
Dr Franceschi's team concludes, "Our data show, for the first time, an association between Helicobacter pylori infection and preeclampsia with abnormal uterine arteries Doppler velocimetry, suggesting a role for Helicobacter pylori infection in impairing placental development and increasing the risk to develop preeclampsia."
"This study opens the new perspective of a potential screening and treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection in pregnancy."