Stool polymerase chain reaction for Helicobacter pylori detection and clarithromycin susceptibility testing in children

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Mar;8(3):309-12. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2009.12.002. Epub 2009 Dec 28.


Background & aims: This study was undertaken in a pediatric gastroenterology clinic to retrospectively evaluate a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection and clarithromycin susceptibility testing of Helicobacter pylori using stool specimens.

Methods: All consecutive children who underwent a gastroscopy between March 2006 and February 2009 and also having been examined by stool PCR were enrolled. Rapid urease test, histology, and culture were the reference methods for the detection of H pylori and E-test for susceptibility testing, respectively.

Results: A total of 143 children (mean age, 10.8 y; range, 2.8-17.9; males:females, 1:1.5) were evaluable. Sensitivity, specificity, and test accuracy for the detection of H pylori were 83.8%, 98.4%, and 90.2%, respectively. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for the detection of clarithromycin resistance were 89.2%, 100%, and 94.0%, respectively.

Conclusions: Stool PCR was a reliable and useful noninvasive tool for detection and clarithromycin susceptibility testing of H pylori in a pediatric population with a high prevalence of clarithromycin-resistant strains.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacteriological Techniques / methods*
  • Breath Tests
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clarithromycin / pharmacology*
  • Feces / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / diagnosis*
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects*
  • Helicobacter pylori / genetics
  • Helicobacter pylori / growth & development
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Urease / metabolism


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Urease
  • Clarithromycin