Detection of Helicobacter pylori in rural school children using 13C-urea breath test
AbstractHigh infection rates of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in young children in developing countries appear to be a major cause for chronic under nutrition and diarrhea syndrome with failure to thrive. H. pylori are spiral gram-negative bacteria, whose infection is implicated in duodenal
ulcer, gastric ulcer, non-ulcer dyspepsia and gastritis. Several diagnostic methods are available for the detection of H. pylori, with direct methods based on gastric biopsies. The 13C- Urea Breath Test (UBT) used in this study has advantage over the other methods in that, it is easy to perform, specific (100%), highly sensitive (95%), safe and is applicable in every group either in health or disease. The test also gives the current status of infection and is non invasive, making it suitable for replicable field and clinical studies. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of H. pylori infection in rural school children. School children (n=23) aged between 5 and 8 years were used in this study. Anthropometric measurements (weight and height) were also taken. Results indicated high prevalence (96%) of H. pylori infection and its accompanying problems such as stunting (91.5%), underweight (92%) and wasting (87%) in these children.