The bacterium Helicobacter pylori colonizes the human stomach, with individual infections persisting for decades. The spread of the bacterium has been shown to reflect both ancient and recent human migrations. We have sequenced housekeeping genes from H. pylori isolated from 147 Iranians with well-characterized geographical and ethnic origins sampled throughout Iran and compared them with sequences from strains from other locations. H. pylori from Iran are similar to others isolated from Western Eurasia and can be placed in the previously described HpEurope population. Despite the location of Iran at the crossroads of Eurasia, we found no evidence that the region been a major source of ancestry for strains across the continent. On a smaller scale, we found genetic affinities between the H. pylori isolated from particular Iranian populations and strains from Turks, Uzbeks, Palestinians and Israelis, reflecting documented historical contacts over the past two thousand years. © 2010 Latifi-Navid et al.
Latifi-Navid, S., Ghorashi, S. A., Siavoshi, F., Linz, B., Massarrat, S., Khegay, T., … Falush, D. (2010). Ethnic and geographic differentiation of Helicobacter pylori within Iran. PLoS ONE, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0009645