Helicobacter pylori transmission: evidence from a comparison with hepatitis A virus.Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1996 May; 8(5):439-41.EJ
To assess the possibility that faecal-oral contact might play a role in the transmission of Helicobacter pylori.
A cross-sectional comparison of the patterns of hepatitis A and H. pylori seropositivity.
At interview, blood samples and questionnaire data were collected from a group of 467 male volunteers, aged 18-65, from Stoke-on-Trent, UK. Serum samples from each subject were then analysed for anti-H. pylori and anti-hepatitis A antibodies.
Overall, 100 of 175 H. pylori seropositive subjects (57.1%) and 113 of 292 H. pylori seronegative subjects (38.7%) were hepatitis A seropositive (chi 2 = 15.0, P < 0.001). This difference was not statistically significant after adjustment for age group and father's occupation, as a surrogate for socioeconomic status in childhood (P = 0.15). The seroprevalence of hepatitis A increased with age at a rate of 2.3% per year, compared to only 1.0% per year for H. pylori (P = 0.015).
These data suggest that the case for faecal-oral transmission of H. pylori, in a manner similar to the spread of hepatitis A, is not proven and that other modes of transmission, for instance through oral-oral contact, should also be considered.