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Familial occurrence of Helicobacter pylori infections

Władysław Bielański, Stanisław J. Konturek

Med Sci Monit 2003; 9(4): 29-33

ID: 428629

Available online:


Background: Helicobacter pylori(Hp)is one of the most common human pathogens. There is no consensus concerning the incidence of Hp infections in siblings of the children infected with this pathogen. The reports concerning this problem are scarce, reporting inci-dences in siblings ranging from 37% to even 82%. The aim of the study was to assess incidence of Hp infections in siblings of the children with gastritis and/or duodenitis coincident with the infection.
Material/Methods: The study was carried out in a group of 60 children aged 3–18 coming from 39 families. Anamnesis concern-ing dyspeptic symptoms was collected and urea breath test (UBT) performed in order to detect Helicobacter pylori infection.Results: Positive UBT results,indicating Hp infections, were obtained in 38 children (63.3%). The prevalence of infection was not age-related:in the group below 7 years of age infections were found in 75%of cases, in the group aged 7 –15 years in 55.5%, and over 15 years of age in 66.7%. Fourteen children (23.3%) reported dyspeptic symptoms. In 12 of them (85.7%), Hp infection was diag-nosed. Dyspeptic symptoms were significantly more frequent in children over 10 years of age (31.7%) than in those below 10 (5.3%). Conclusions:1) The incidence of Helicobacter pylori infections in siblings of children with gastritis and/or duodenitis coincident with Hp infection is high. 2) High incidence of infections is observed even among the youngest children (3–7 years), but they are usu-ally not accompanied by dyspeptic symptoms. 3) Dyspeptic symptoms, which may indicate peptic ulcer disease or gastritis in siblings of Hp-infected children are frequent and exacerbate over 10 years of age.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori infection, UBT, Family, Siblings