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Review
, 1149, 107-120

Helicobacter Pylori Infection in Children and Adolescents

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Review

Helicobacter Pylori Infection in Children and Adolescents

Masumi Okuda et al. Adv Exp Med Biol.

Abstract

About one-third of all children worldwide is infected with H. pylori and its prevalence is low in developed and high in developing countries. H. pylori is mainly acquired during childhood and transmission of the bacterium commonly proceeds from person to person, especially among family members. The most frequent transmission route is from the mother to children. Various gastrointestinal and extra-gastrointestinal diseases are reported to be associated with H. pylori in children and adolescents, but the strongest recommendation for testing and treating is introduced only with children and adolescents having peptic ulcer disease. Iron deficiency anemia and chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura are also considered for testing and treating, but the effectiveness is somewhat controversial. Invasive diagnosis is recommended, whereas none of the available diagnostic tests have 100% accuracy for reliable diagnosis, and therefore at least two or more tests should be performed. Urea breath test is the most reliable among the non-invasive tests. Because the number of antibiotics-resistant H. pylori strains is increasing, it is desirable to conduct a drug susceptibility test before treatment and to select the corresponding regime. H. pylori has been proven to be a major cause of gastric cancer and 'screen-and-treat' strategies are recommended in communities at high risk of gastric cancer. However, the application to children and adolescents is controversial. An effective vaccine is desirable, but not yet available. Screen-and-treat for adolescents has started in a few areas in Japan, where conditions are well established. New prevention strategies for gastric cancer are awaited worldwide.

Keywords: Child; Epidemiology; Manifestation; Screen; Treatment.

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