Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori in children by noninvasive stool Antigen Enzyme Immunoassay
Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is contracted in childhood, and it is considered as an important risk factor for acid-pectic disorders and neoplasms later in life. A noninvasive H. pylori stool antigen test was used to determine the prevalence of H. pylori infection in children and the sociodemographic and clinical characteristic of children with H. pylori infection described.
Methods: A total of 102, symptomatic and asymptomatic, children aged 1-15 years, were consecutively recruited at the outpatient department of Plateau State Specialist Hospital in Jos, Nigeria. Eighty-seven (87/102, 85.3%) stool samples were analyzed using H. pylori stool antigen kit (HpSATM GeneFronts elisaVUE TM, 2950 Scott Blvd, Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA) to detect H. pylori antigen. Prevalence of H. pylori infection, socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of children with H. pylori infection, and the association of these factors with H. pylori infection were determined.
Results: Of 87 stool samples tested, 32 were positive for H. pylori giving a H. pylori prevalence of 36.8%. Majority of the children were males (51.2%) and their median age (IQR) 10 (6- 12) years. Majority of those with H. pylori infection resided in urban areas compared to rural areas (15, 51.7% versus 14, 48.3%); p = 0.354), lived in room type accommodation compared to flat apartment accommodation (17, 53.1% versus 15, 46.9%; p = 0.235) and fewer were HIV-positive compared to those who were negative (5, 15.6% versus 27, 84.4; p = 0.330). No significant associations were observed between any of the socio demographic or clinical variables and H. pylori infection.
Conclusion: In this study, the prevalence of H. pylori infection among the children tested was low. Stool antigen testing has the potential advantage of being relatively simple to perform and is also a non-invasive technique, therefore it could be a useful tool for mass screening for H. pylori infection in children.
Keywords: Helicobacter pylori, Stool antigen, Enzyme immunoassay, Prevalence, Children, Nigeria