H. pylori often infect your stomach during childhood. While infections with this strain of bacteria typically don’t cause symptoms, they can lead to diseases in some people, including peptic ulcers, and an inflammatory condition inside your stomach known as gastritis.
what cause H.pylori?
H. pylori is thought to spread through contaminated food and water and through direct mouth-to-mouth contact. In most populations, the bacterium is first acquired during childhood. Infection is more likely in children living in poverty, in crowded conditions, and in areas with poor sanitation.
where do you get H.pylori?
You can get H. pylori from food, water, or utensils. It’s more common in countries or communities that lack clean water or good sewage systems. You can also pick up the bacteria through contact with the saliva or other body fluids of infected people.
How can you test H.pylori?
The urea breath test (UBT) is one of the most important non-invasive methods for detecting Helicobacter pylori infection. The test exploits the hydrolysis of orally administered urea by the enzyme urease, which H pylori produces in large quantities. Urea is hydrolysed to ammonia and carbon dioxide, which diffuses into the blood and is excreted by the lungs. Isotopically labelled CO2 can be detected in breath using various methods.
13C is a non-radioactive isotope that can be used safely for repeated testing, which is frequently required in clinical practice, and for detecting H pylori infection in children and women of childbearing age. Furthermore, 13C-urea has been the most widely used substrate in methodological studies performed to validate this kind of diagnostic test. Another relevant advantage of using the stable isotope is that breath samples can be sent by post or courier to remote analysis centres, thus promoting the distribution of the test, which can even be performed at home if the patients are adequately selected and instructed.