Helicobacter pylori, previously known as Campylobacter pylori, is a gram-negative, helically shaped, microaerophilic bacterium usually found in thestomach. Its helical shape is thought to have evolved in order to penetratethe mucoid lining of the stomach and thereby establish infection. Thebacterium was first identified in 1982 by Australian doctors Barry Marshalland Robin Warren, who found that it was present in a person with chronicgastritis and gastric ulcers, conditions not previously believed to have amicrobial cause. H. pylori has been associated with the mucosa-associatedlymphoid tissue in the stomach, esophagus, colon, rectum, or tissues aroundthe eye, and of lymphoid tissue in the stomach.
The 13C-UBT is the best approach to the diagnosis of H. pylori infection, with high sensitivity and specificity, and excellent performances.Out of 12 RCTs comparing the ‘test-and-treat’ strategy to OGD or PPI therapy, eight (66%) were performed with UBT, four (33%) with serology, and none with SAT.
14C UBT has also been proposed because of its lower cost, but as it exposes patients to radiation it cannot be used in children and pregnant women.