The rates of acquisition and spontaneous eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection in children has yet to be established. To determine these rates in children living in an urban region of Japan, the levels of urine H. pylori antibodies in children of three different age groups were measured.Methods
A urine-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect H. pylori antibodies twice within a 12 month interval over 2 years in 452 healthy children living in Tokyo. The subjects were divided into three groups: ages 4, 7, and 10 years.Results
The prevalence of H. pylori infection was not different among the groups, being between 4.0% and 6.7%. The rate of turn to positivity for H. pylori infection was 1.5% per year and the rate of turn to negativity was 1.1%, but in the 10 year age group the rates were markedly lower than in the younger children.Conclusion
The prevalence of H. pylori infection in Tokyo was 4.0–6.7% and was not different among 4, 7, and 10 year age groups.