Validity of Salivary Polymerase Chain Reaction in Diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori Among Egyptian Patients

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Helicobacter pylori is highly endemic in Egypt. Salivary polymerase chain reaction (PCR) offers an easy and safe approach for disease detection as saliva contains an abundance of its biomolecules.

Aim of the Work

To evaluate the validity of salivary PCR as a quantitative method in diagnosis of H. pylori.


This study included 50 attendant patients of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt. They all proved histologically to have H. pylori–induced gastric and/or duodenal pathology. Another 50 patients negative for H. pylori were included as control group. All patients underwent stool antigen test and salivary PCR.


Prevalence of H. pylori in clinically manifested Egyptian patients was 62.5%. The commonest endoscopic findings were gastric affection (90%), and third of cases (34%) showed definite ulcerative lesions. Salivary PCR test was significantly (P < 0.001) higher in H. pylori patients (mean, 10179.0 ± 20244.1 copies/dL) with wide range than in control group (mean, 99.2 ± 17.9 copies/dL), with sensitivity 100%, specificity 82%, and overall accuracy of 91%. Among the common complaints, it was significantly related to heartburn.


Salivary PCR proved to be a reliable diagnostic test, with sensitivity 100%, and accuracy reached 99% at cutoff level = 130 copies/dl (area under the curve was 0.998 at confidence interval = 0.993–1).

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