Helicobacter pylori status and symptom assessment two years after eradication in pediatric patients from a high prevalence area

Anna Maria Magistà, Enzo Ierardi, Stefania Castellaneta, Vito Leonardo Miniello, Elena Lionetti, Antonio Francavilla, Philippe Ros, Nicola Rigillo, Alfredo Di Leo, Ruggiero Francavilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To establish the rate of Helicobacter pylori reinfection in children from an H. pylori high prevalence area, possible clinical features predictive of reinfection and the usefulness of re-treatment. Methods: 65 consecutive children attending the authors' department between 1998 and 2000 who had proven successful H. pylori eradication were enrolled; 52 took part. Patients and family members were invited to undergo 13C-urea breath testing and to complete a simple questionnaire regarding symptoms and socioeconomic status. Patients with H. pylori reinfection were offered treatment; eradication was assessed by 13C-urea breath test 8 weeks after completion of treatment. Results: Of 52 children, 15 (28.8%) were H. pylori positive. Variables predictive of reinfection were age at primary infection and presence of an infected sibling. Although reinfected children were more frequently symptomatic than non-reinfected patients, no specific symptom was associated with reinfection. Of the nine re-treated patients who returned 8 weeks after completing therapy, the bacterium was eradicated in five (56%). Conclusions: The 12.8% per year reinfection rate in childhood at 2 years that we observed should prompt a re-evaluation of H. pylori status even after a successful eradication. Living in an H. pylori high prevalence area increases the annual risk of reinfection by approximately fourfold over the annual risk in H. pylori low prevalence areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-318
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • C-Urea breath test
  • Childhood
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Non-ulcer dispepsia
  • Reinfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Histology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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