Methods for detection of Helicobacter pylori from stool sample: current options and developments

Braz J Microbiol. 2021 Dec;52(4):2057-2062. doi: 10.1007/s42770-021-00589-x. Epub 2021 Aug 15.


Accurate detection of Helicobacter pylori infection and determination of antibiotics have significant meaning in clinical practice. The detection methods can be categorized into two types, invasive and non-invasive, but nowadays we use the urease breath test most frequently which is non-invasive. However, many developing countries cannot meet the requirements for having specialized equipment and they lack trained personnel. Also, for the children, it is difficult to make them cooperate for the test. Methods that detect Helicobacter pylori from stool sample can be a promising alternative for detection used in children and mass screening. Stool antigen tests have several advantages such as rapidity, simplicity, and cheapness, though their results may be influenced by the heterogenicity of antigens, the nature of biochemical techniques, and the amount of antigen presented in the stool. PCR-based methods can specifically detect Helicobacter pylori infection and antibiotic resistance by targeting specific gene sequence, but they also are limited by the requirements of facilities and experts, the existence of inhibitory substance, and interference from the dead bacteria. Some novel methods also deserve our attention. Here we summarized the results of researches about methods using stool sample and we hope our work can help clinicians choose the appropriate test in clinical practice.

Keywords: Diagnostic method; Helicobacter pylori; Polymerase chain reaction; Stool antigen test; Stool sample.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriological Techniques* / methods
  • Bacteriological Techniques* / standards
  • Bacteriological Techniques* / trends
  • Feces* / microbiology
  • Helicobacter Infections* / diagnosis
  • Helicobacter pylori* / genetics
  • Helicobacter pylori* / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Sensitivity and Specificity