1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman
Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), is a common infection in pregnant women accompanied by variations in the levels of the IgM, IgA and IgG antibody isotypes. The variations of anti-H. pylori antibodies during and after pregnancy, and the extent of protection they provide to the mother and the fetus are not completely understood. Objectives: To investigate the changes of the anti-H. pylori IgM, IgA and IgG levels in healthy Omani pregnant women during pregnancy and 3 months after delivery. Methods: Serum samples obtained from 70 Omani healthy pregnant women, with no history of autoimmune diseases, were tested for anti-H. pylori IgM, IgA and IgG in the first trimester of pregnancy and 3 months after delivery. In parallel and as a control group, sera obtained from a group of 70 healthy non-pregnant Omani women were tested. The levels of anti-H. pylori IgM, IgA and IgG were measured using standard Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs). Results: Anti-H. pylori IgA levels were found to be significantly higher during pregnancy (p=0.046) and after delivery (p=0.02) when compared to the control group. Moreover, a significant increase in the levels of anti-H. pylori IgM, IgA and IgG was detected after delivery (p=0.002) when compared to the levels during pregnancy. Conclusion: Pregnancy is associated with an increase in the levels of anti-H. pylori IgA antibodies. In addition, anti-H. pylori IgM, IgG and IgA antibody levels increase after delivery.