Lack of evidence for fecal-oral transmission of Helicobacter pylori infection in Taiwanese.J Formos Med Assoc. 2003 Jun; 102(6):375-8.JF
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
Helicobacter pylori infection is primarily acquired in early childhood and its transmission routes are debated. The aims of this study were to determine the seroprevalence of anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G (IgG) in Taiwanese and to investigate whether a common mode of transmission could be shared between H. pylori and hepatitis A virus (HAV).
An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to investigate the prevalence of H. pylori among 924 healthy volunteers aged less than 40 years, and radioimmunoassay for HAV infection was conducted in 500 subjects from the same population. The kappa statistic was used to measure the difference in positivity for the 2 infections in a subgroup of 500 subjects who had their sera simultaneously tested for anti-H. pylori and anti-HAV antibodies.
The seroprevalence of anti-H. pylori IgG was 16.7% in subjects aged < 16 years and 38.3% at ages >or= 16 years. Most children (99%) under the age of 16 were seronegative for HAV. The prevalence of H. pylori infection increased rapidly with age, at 1%/year and 0.8%/year for children and adults, respectively. The rate of H. pylori infection was higher in male (21%) than in female (12%) children (p < 0.01; OR, 2.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 3.0). No significant difference in seroprevalence between genders was noted in subjects aged >or= 16 years. The agreement in the trend of seropositivity between both infections in the age groups 1 to 10 years and 10 to 20 years was worse than chance (kappa = -0.56) and little better than chance (kappa = 0.01), respectively.
Acquisition of H. pylori infection occurs at a young age, and male children are more likely to develop the infection. The main transmission route of HAV, the fecal-oral route, did not seem to be responsible for H. pylori transmission in this Taiwanese cohort.