The aim of this study was to evaluate an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of anti-Helicobacter pylori specific IgG antibodies in specimens of oral fluid. Antral biopsy specimens, serum and oral fluid samples were collected from 81 patients attending for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. The presence or absence of current H. pylori infection was determined by culture, histology and urease detection. Anti-H. Pylori specific IgG was detected in serum by an established in-house ELISA and in oral fluid by an ELISA developed for this study. In all, 34 (42%) of 81 patients were positive for H. pylori by one or more of the 'gold standard' tests (culture, histology and urease detection). The oral fluid ELISA had a sensitivity of 94% and specificity of 85% with regard to current H. pylori infection. The serum ELISA had a sensitivity and specificity of 91%. There was an overall agreement of 88% between serum and oral fluid antibody detection. The detection of anti-H. pylori specific IgG in oral fluid by ELISA is comparable in sensitivity and specificity with serum-based methods. Oral fluid-based ELISA could provide a reliable, non-invasive method for the diagnosis of H. pylori infection, and may be of particular benefit for population surveys.