Seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to Helicobacter pylori among gastrointestinal endoscopists, radiologists and paramedical personnel.J Assoc Physicians India. 1999 Sep; 47(9):866-8.JA
The route of transmission of Helicobacter pylori is unknown. Since the organism has been isolated from saliva, gastric juice and stool, medical personnel could be at high risk for acquiring the infection during procedures like gastrointestinal endoscopy.
To study whether endoscopy is a professional hazard for acquisition of H. pylori.
We studied the prevalence of IgG antibodies to H. pylori in endoscopists (n = 17), radiologists (n = 17) and personnel from paraclinical branches (n = 35); microbiology (n = 21), pathology (n = 7) and forensic medicine (n = 7); among the paraclinical personnel five were at high risk because they worked with cultures of H. pylori. Subjects answered a questionnaire regarding upper gastrointestinal symptoms, and precautions taken at the work place against infection. The serum was tested for IgG antibodies to H. pylori using a microwell ELISA and a rapid card test.
H. pylori antibodies were present in five (29.4%) endoscopists, three (17.6%) radiologists and seven (20%) paraclinical personnel; only one of the 5 high risk para medical personnel was positive. There was no correlation between the duration of performing endoscopies and the H. pylori IgG status.
Endoscopy is not a risk factor for acquiring H. pylori infection.