Background: Cure rates for eradication of Helicobacter pylori appear to be decreasing, thus more effective therapies must be identified.
Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of bovine lactoferrin in the treatment of H. pylori infection.
Methods: In a multicentered prospective study, 402 (mean age 52.4, range 19-84 years) H. pylori-positive patients were assigned to one of three regimens: group A - esomeprazole 20 mg b.d., clarithromycin 500 mg b.d. and tinidazole 500 mg b.d. for 7 days; group B - lactoferrin 200 mg b.d. for 7 days followed by the same schedule of group A; group C - esomeprazole 20 mg b.d., clarithromycin 500 mg b.d. and tinidazole 500 mg b.d. plus lactoferrin 200 mg b.d. for 7 days.
Results: Of the 402 patients, 389 completed the study. Six patients were discontinued due to side effects, one patient in group B died and six patients were lost to follow up. The eradication rate (intention-to-treat analysis) was 77% in group A (105/136), 73% in group B (97/132) and 90% in group C (120/134) (chi(2)-test P < 0.01). The incidence of side effects was 9.5% in group A, 9% in group B and 8.2% in group C (chi(2)-test P = 0.1).
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that bovine lactoferrin is an effective adjuvant to 7-day triple therapy for eradication of H. pylori infection.