Helicobacter pylori-Clarithromycin Resistance in Symptomatic Pediatric Patients in a High Prevalence Country

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Introduction:Failure to eradicate Helicobacter pylori despite antibiotic treatment is generally attributed to increasing clarithromycin resistance conferred by point mutations in the 23S-rRNA gene or metronidazole resistance attributed to rdxA gene (HP0954) deletion in patients. Scarce data for pediatric population are available from developing countries.Objectives:The aim of the present study was to determine the presence of A2142G/C and A2143G mutations in the 23S-rRNA gene and/or rdxA gene (HP0954) deletion in a group of symptomatic H pylori–infected children recruited from an area with high infection rate and risk of gastric cancer.Patients and Methods:We recruited 118 patients referred for upper endoscopy for gastrointestinal symptoms. The presence of H pylori was determined by urease test and histological staining. The rdxA gene (HP0954) deletion, and 2142G/C and A2143G mutations were determined by polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism. A subgroup of infected patients received a 14-day regimen of omeprazole, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin. The effectiveness of this regime was determined by stool antigen determination 8 weeks after treatment.Results:About 21% of the analyzed infected patients showed mutation in the 23S-rRNA gene, with the A2143G transition as the more frequent mutation, and 2% of the patients showed rdxA gene (HP0954) deletion. After treatment, 25% of the patients continued to harbor the bacteria; of these, 67% carried the A2143G mutation.Conclusions:H pylori–infected pediatric patients from Chile show high prevalence of the mutation responsible for clarithromycin resistance. The failure to eradicate H pylori can be attributed to the presence of the A2143G mutation.

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