The presence of Helicobacter pylori in the gastric, antral mucosa of 205 consecutive, unselected gastroscopy patients was investigated by 1-3 biopsies for urea broth test and culture, 1 biopsy for histological examination and 1 blood sample for serology by ELISA. Overall, 41% were positive for H. pylori by culture, 32% by urea broth test, 24% by histological staining and 67%, 56% and 49% for the 3 cut-off limits applied to serology. Culture and serology indicated the presence of H. pylori in 79-92% of the 14 cases with duodenal ulcer, in 59-82% of the 28 cases with gastric ulcers, in 45-71% of the 51 cases with endoscopic gastritis and in 33-69% of 13 cases with oesophagitis. In patients with histological antritis, H. pylori was identified by culture in 71% (60/84), by serology in 95%, 88% and 81% with the different cut-off limits. The sensitivity of serology ranged from 99-78% depending on the cut-off limits and the specificity from 78-100% against all parameters combined. These results suggest that serology is a useful screening method for the presence of H. pylori. Future antibiotic treatment studies are required to evaluate the clinical relevance of H. pylori in gastrointestinal disease and to investigate the possibility to monitor eradication by serology.