Helicobacter pylori in the drinking water in Peru

Gastroenterology. 1996 Apr;110(4):1031-5. doi: 10.1053/gast.1996.v110.pm8612990.


Background & aims: An association between water sources and the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Peruvian children was shown previously. The aim of this study was to confirm the presence of H. pylori in drinking water in the same community.

Methods: Forty-eight drinking water samples from different locations in pueblo jovenes (new towns) near Lima were collected. Samples were frozen until technology advanced to the point to the point at which H. pylori might be reliably detected. Immunomagnetic beads coated with anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin Gs were used to concentrate H. pylori, and two polymerase chain reaction assays based on different H. pylori genes were used. One was a polymerase chain reaction for the detection of the H. pylori adhesin subunit encoding gene, and the second was a previously validated H. pylori 16S ribosomal RNA reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction.

Results: The expected 375-base pair fragment from the adhesin gene was amplified from 24 water samples. The expected 500-base pair fragment of the 16S ribosomal RNA and the 375-base pair fragment of the adhesin gene were amplified from 11 of the samples.

Conclusions: These results confirm the presence of H. pylori in drinking water in Peru and are consistent with conclusions from a previous epidemiological study of the same population. This provides additional evidence for waterborne transmission of H. pylori in some environments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adhesins, Bacterial / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Helicobacter pylori / genetics
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification*
  • Helicobacter pylori / metabolism
  • Immunomagnetic Separation
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Peru
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Water Microbiology*
  • Water Supply*


  • Adhesins, Bacterial
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S