Background: The prevalence and incidence of Helicobacter pylori in children in Pakistan is not known.
Objectives: To measure the prevalence and age of acquisition of Helicobacter pylori infection/colonization in infants in a peri-urban community in Karachi, Pakistan.
Setting: Field based epidemiologic study in a peri-urban community in Karachi, Pakistan.
Methods: Infants aged 1 to 3 months were recruited from a birth cohort from the community. C-urea breath test (C-UBT) was performed on recruitment, and the test was repeated at 2, 3, 6, and 9 months of age.
Results: One hundred forty-eight infants were recruited and had C-UBT on 319 occasions over a period of 2 years. Two hundred thirty-one=(72%) tests were positive: 80% (49/61) infants at 1 month of age, 79% (33/42) at 2 month of age, 76% (92/121) at 3 month of age, 58% (37/64) at 6 months of age, and 67% (20/30) at 9 months of age.
Conclusions: The study reveals an early colonization/infection of infants and a high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori in a peri-urban community in Karachi, Pakistan.