Background and aim: Helicobacter pylori eradication clearly decreases peptic ulcer recurrence rates. H. pylori eradication is achieved in 70-90% of cases, but treatment failures due to poor patient compliance and resistant organisms do occur. Lactobacillus gasseri can suppress both clarithromycin-susceptible and -resistant strains of H. pylori in vitro. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of pretreatment with L. gasseri- containing yogurt on H. pylori eradication. We conducted a randomized, controlled clinical trial in patients with H. pylori infection.
Methods: A total of 229 patients were randomized into either a 1-week triple therapy of rabeprazole (10 mg bid), amoxicillin (750 mg bid), and clarithromycin (200 mg bid) or triple therapy plus L. gasseri-containing yogurt. In the yogurt-plus-triple therapy groups, yogurt containing L. gasseri OLL2716 (112 g) was given twice daily for 4 weeks (3 weeks pretreatment and also 1 week during eradication therapy). Clarithromycin resistance was determined by the detection of a mutation in 23S rRNA using nested polymerase chain reaction and the direct sequencing of DNA from pretreatment feces. H. pylori eradication was diagnosed based on the urea breath test and a stool antigen test after 8 weeks of eradication.
Results: The status of H. pylori susceptibility to clarithromycin was successively determined in 188 out of 229 samples. The rate of infection with clarithromycin-resistant strains of H. pylori was 27.1%. Overall eradication (intention to treat/per protocol) was 69.3/74.5% for the triple-only group, and 82.6/85.6% for the yogurt-plus-triple group (P = 0.018/P = 0.041). Eradication of primary clarithromycin-resistant strains tended to be higher for yogurt-plus-triple therapy than triple-only therapy (38.5 vs 28.0%, respectively, P = 0.458).
Conclusion: This study confirmed that the major cause of treatment failure is resistance to clarithromycin. A 4-week treatment with L. gasseri-containing yogurt improves the efficacy of triple therapy in patients with H. pylori infection.
© 2011 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.