To detect H. pylori, Use the stool antigen or breath tests instead of serology.

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26 Sep 2016 - General

Helicobacter pylori is a spiral-shaped bacterium that infects well over 30% of the world’s population. In some countries it infects more than 50% of the population. This is, therefore, one of the most common bacterial infections known to mankind.

Serologic evaluation of patients to determine the presence/absence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is no longer considered clinically useful and they do not discriminate between current infection and recent exposure. However serial serology from antibody concentrations can be used as follow up post treatment of Helicobacter infection.

 Alternative noninvasive testing methods (e.g., the urea breath test and stool antigen test) exist for detecting the presence of the bacteria and have demonstrated higher clinical utility, sensitivity, and specificity.

Urea Breath Tests Breath testing provides a rapid, non-invasive way of detecting the presence of active infection and is often used to check whether eradication has been successful. This test uses a sample of exhaled breath to determine infection. The principle of this exam relies on the ability of the bacteria to convert a compound called urea to carbon dioxide. When a specially labelled urea is ingested, the exhaled breath can be tested for labelled carbon dioxide. These tests are very accurate and easy to perform

 Additionally, both the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterology Association recommend either the breath or stool antigen tests as the preferred testing modalities for active H. pylori infection.

Finally, several laboratories have dropped the serological test from their menus, and many insurance providers are no longer reimbursing patients for serologic testing.

In my country, serology testing for the presence of helicobacter pylori is not commonly practiced. In fact, I have never seen any of my senior consultants order that test. I have heard about the urea breath test being done in several laboratories, but I haven't ordered it myself either. In my opinion, confirmation of helicobacter is not very important. If a patient has long standing gastritis or gastric ulcers, we always can prescribe him / her a trial of H pylori eradication treatment. Pati...
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Helicobacter Pylori is the most prominent cause of gastric ulcer worldwide. It is the bacterial gastric infection that is affecting 30-50 % of the population worldwide. Therefore it must be screened accurately in order to make right diagnosis for right treatment. H. pylori detection can be achieved through serologic testing, urea breath testing, and stool antigen test. The serum examination for the presence of H. pylori is not much accurate because it does not discriminate between current infect...
 (Total 117 words)