Aim: To assess the long-term Helicobacter pylori reinfection rates, as well as the clinical outcome in peptic ulcer disease patients in Vietnam.
Method: At a 1-year evaluation of H. pylori eradication treatment in 226 peptic ulcer patients, long-term H. pylori status was assessed with serology and/or culture, peptic ulcer status by gastroscopy, and DNA-fingerprinting performed with random amplified polymorphic DNA and restriction fragment polymorphism.
Result: Follow-up was performed a mean 11 months after the post-treatment evaluation on day 30 after beginning of treatment. The overall reinfection rate was 23.5%, with 58.8% of the strains being identical to the pre-treatment isolates and 41.2% being different. Peptic ulcer was found in 22.9% of the reinfected patients and in 6.3% of the non-reinfected. At the long-term follow-up of successful eradication cases, 89.8% of the patients were free of peptic ulcer disease. The corresponding result was 58.7% in patients in whom H. pylori eradication failed.
Conclusion: Following successful H. pylori eradication, reinfection with H. pylori in patients in Vietnam was found to be higher than in industrialized countries but the long-term recurrence of peptic ulcer disease was still low. Helicobacter pylori eradication treatment is therefore of value also in developing countries as the rate of peptic ulcer disease was low at the 1-year follow-up.