Rapid elimination of Helicobacter pylori and reduction of histocompatibility leucocyte antigen-DR expression 12h after a single dose of omeprazole, amoxycillin and metronidazole triple therapy

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Studies of eradication of Helicobacter pylori and subsequent resolution of H. pylori-related gastritis, have focused mainly on medium and long-term change following eradication therapies. Results from those studies have shown that both acute and chronic inflammatory changes found in gastric mucosa eventually return to normal. However, the early events in the stomach, particularly the effects on bacterial density and acute inflammatory markers of anti-H. pylori treatment, are largely unknown. The objective of this study was therefore to examine changes in the number of H. pylori, and the severity of gastric mucosal inflammation in the gastric biopsy specimens of patients before (0 h group, n = 14) and 12 h (12 h group, n = 14) after initiating anti-H. pylori treatment.


Biopsies were assessed, either quantitatively or semi-quantitatively, for the presence of H. pylori, neutrophils, mast cells, intraepithelial lymphocytes and the expression of histocompatibility leucocyte antigen (HLA)-DR by gastric epithelium and the results were compared between groups.


Median H. pylori scores were 5 (range 2-5) and 0 (range 0-2) in biopsies from untreated and 12 h post-treatment groups, respectively (P < 0.001). In most 12 h post-treatment biopsies, H. pylori organisms could not be identified. There was a significant reduction in HLA-DR expression by gastric epithelium (median 3.5 with range 2-4 at 0 h group vs median 2 with range 0-4, P < 0.05), but there was no significant difference in the number of intraepithelial lymphocytes, CD3+ cells, mast cells or the distribution and density of neutrophils (all P > 0.05). Furthermore, the severity of gastritis as scored with the Sydney system was similar in both untreated and treated groups.


The results of this study indicate that elimination of H. pylori organisms and resolution of some inflammatory markers occurs as early as 12 h following a single dose of omeprazole 40 mg, amoxycillin 1.0 g and metronidazole 400 mg, which suggests that rational therapeutic strategies with shorter duration using the currently available drugs may be possible.

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