Background & aims: Helicobacter pylori attaches to gastric mucosa and grows as a biofilm. This constitutes protection from antimicrobial agents. We assessed the role of a pretreatment with n-acetylcysteine in destroying biofilm and overcoming H pylori antibiotic resistance.
Methods: In an open-label, randomized controlled trial, 40 subjects with a history of at least 4 H pylori eradication failures were evaluated for biofilm presence, antibiotic susceptibility, and H pylori genotypes. Subjects were assigned randomly to receive (group A) or not (group B) n-acetylcysteine before a culture-guided antibiotic regimen. The primary end point was the H pylori eradication rate as assessed by (13)C-labeled urea breath testing.
Results: H pylori was eradicated in 13 of 20 (both per-protocol and intention-to-treat analyses, 65%; 95% confidence interval, 44%-86%) group A participants and 4 of 20 (both per-protocol and intention-to-treat analyses, 20%; 95% confidence interval, 3%-37%) group B participants (P < .01). Biofilms persisted only in unsuccessfully treated participants. H pylori genotypes did not influence treatment outcome.
Conclusions: N-acetylcysteine pretreatment before a culture-guided antibiotic regimen is effective in overcoming H pylori antibiotic resistance.
Copyright 2010 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.