The seroepidemiology of Helicobacter pylori infection in Australia

Int J Infect Dis. 2008 Sep;12(5):500-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2008.01.011. Epub 2008 Apr 8.


Background: Infection with Helicobacter pylori is common worldwide and a significant cause of upper gastrointestinal disease. Prevalence of this infection varies in different population groups internationally. Because of the invasiveness of specimen collection for bacteriologic diagnosis and the expense of tests such as labeled urea breath tests, serology is the most feasible means of determining the population epidemiology of H. pylori. The aim of this study was to describe the seroepidemiology of H. pylori infection in Australia.

Methods: H. pylori-specific ELISA for the presence of IgG antibodies was performed on a representative sample of 2413 sera from Australia in 2002, using validated serosurveillance methods.

Results: The overall seroprevalence of H. pylori infection in Australia was 15.1% in 2002, with no statistical difference between genders. Seropositivity rates increased progressively with age, ranging between 4.0% in the 1-4-year-olds and 23.3% in the 50-59-year-olds.

Conclusions: The prevalence of infection with H. pylori in Australia was lower than rates reported in other developed countries, at 15.4%. This study provides important baseline measurements for future preventive measures including vaccine research and development. Further studies to determine subgroups at higher risk of infection may help target the more susceptible populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / immunology
  • Helicobacter pylori* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Young Adult