Helicobacter pylori infection may undergo spontaneous eradication in children: a 2-year follow-up study
Perri, F × Pastore, M Clemente, R Festa, V Quitadamo, M Niro, G Conoscitore, P Rutgeerts, Paul Andriulli, A #
Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition vol:27 issue:2 pages:181-3
BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori infection is generally acquired early in life. However, it is still unknown whether a spontaneous eradication can occur. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether H. pylori infection can undergo spontaneous eradication in children. METHODS: Three hundred and four Italian children (age range, 4.5 to 18.5 years) were tested for H. pylori by means of 13C-urea breath test. Infected children were followed up every 6 months for as long as 2 years. Parents were instructed to record consumption of antibiotics. At each visit, children underwent a repeat 13C-urea breath test. RESULTS: Eighty-five out of 304 (27.9%) children were H. pylori infected. Forty-eight out of 85 infected children (56.4%) participated in the follow-up study. After 2 years, 8 (16.6%) infected children had negative results on 13C-urea breath tests; 2 of them were given antibiotics for concomitant infections. One child was negative at 6 months but became positive again at the next 6-month 13C-urea breath test. Forty children remained persistently positive; of them, 10 were treated with a short course of antibiotics. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the hypothesis that, at least during childhood, H. pylori infection may be a fluctuating disease with spontaneous eradication and possible recurrence.