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.