The Mother as Source of Helicobacter pylori Infection

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To further elucidate the intrafamilial transmission of Helicobacter pylori infection, we investigated the occurrence of infection by parental infection status in a large community-based birth cohort of children from Germany.


Parental infection (at birth) and children's infection (at age 3 years) were determined by 13C-urea breath test and by monoclonal antigen stool test.


Twenty of 834 children (2.4%) were found to be infected. The odds ratio for H. pylori infection of the child was 12.9 (95% confidence interval = 3.2–52.5) if the mother was infected and 1.4 (0.4–4.6) if the father was infected, after adjustment for infection status of the other parent and for nationality. The number of older siblings was not a risk factor for H. pylori infection of the child.


This longitudinal study suggests that infected mothers are the main source of H. pylori infection of their children.

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