Re-infection with Helicobacter pylori after eradication has been estimated to occur in none to14% of patients.
Most so-called 're-infections' occur within the first year following 'eradication' and many may actually be due to recrudescence of a temporarily suppressed infection.
Dr Cameron and colleagues from England studied the true re-infection rate after eradication therapy.
The research team excluded the first year's data, thereby minimizing the possible confounding effect of recrudescence.
The team evaluated 1162 patients for H pylori infection following eradication therapy between 1987 and 2004.
|Re-infection occurred in 13 out of 1162 cases|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
Testing was carried out by urea breath test and gastric biopsy.
Patients were included if they were found to be negative for H pylori infection by testing at least 1 year following eradication.
The patients also underwent at least 1 further test for H pylori.
The median post-eradication follow-up was 3 years, and included 4668 tests.
The research team analyzed 3319 years of follow-up.
The team found that 13 cases of re-infection occurred, a re-infection rate of less than 1% per year.
Dr Cameron's team commented, “This large study of H pylori re-infection avoided cases of recrudescence by excluding the first post-eradication year.”
“True re-infection is probably less common than previously thought.”