cagA, vacA s and m genotypes and iceA alleles were analyzed from Helicobacter pylori strains isolated from 17 Finnish children and 32 children of non-Finnish origin living in Finland. Twelve children in the latter group were eastern European and 15 were of African origin. Only three children of non-Finnish origin were born in Finland. The vacA sla subtype was more prevalent in the isolates from Finnish children than African children (76% vs. 7%, P<0.001); vacA s1b frequencies were 5% and 67%, respectively (P<0.001). The iceA1 allele was significantly more prevalent in African than Finnish isolates (93% vs. 35%, P< 0.01). Considerable variation was noted in the frequency of vacA s1 subtypes and iceA alleles in children originating from different geographic regions, but the geographic variation of s1 subtypes resembled that described in other reports.