Investigators from Heidelberg and Ulm, Germany, assessed the dynamics of Helicobacter pylori infection in early childhood.
They looked at asymptomatic Turkish children, a population known to be at high risk of H. pylori infection.
The children were aged 1 (n = 56), 2 (n = 55), and 4 years (n = 69) at the start of the study.
Participating pediatricians performed routine health screening examinations on the children between September 1997 and October 1998.
|35% of children lost H. pylori infection a year later.
| Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics |
A follow-up was performed about 1 year later.
An antigen-based stool assay was used to define the infection status of the children.
Follow-up information was available for 76% of the 180 children.
The team found that, at baseline examination, the prevalence of infection in children with follow-up information was 27%.
The incidence of H. pylori infection among previously uninfected children was 7% and the loss of infection among previously infected children was 35% during follow-up.
Dr D. Rothenbacher, of the German Centre for Research on Aging, Heidelberg, concluded on behalf of fellow colleagues, "This study in a high-risk group of children living in Germany showed that H. pylori colonization may often not persist at an early age.
"Furthermore, the use of penicillins and macrolides may be associated with the loss of infection at an early age."