Detection of Helicobacter pylori in saliva and esophagus.
The route of Helicobacter pylori transmission remains unclear and the currently suggested route is person-to-person transfer by faecal-oral and oral-oral mode. The aim of this study was to verify the presence of H. pylori in esophagus and saliva of humans. Saliva samples, mucosal biopsies from esophagus, gastric antrum and fundus were collected from 19 patients with positive Urea Breath Test (UBT). Gastric biopsies were used for H. pylori colture and antimicrobial susceptibility tests whereas saliva samples were collected to detect H. pylori with a Nested-PCR targeting 16S rRNA gene as well as esophagus biopsies which were also investigated with immunohistochemical staining. Helicobacter pylori was isolated in 18 patients both in gastric antrum and fundus. The molecular analysis, confirmed by comparative sequences evaluation, gave positive results in all saliva and esophageal samples whereas the immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of H. pylori in 15.8% (3/19) of the esophagus samples. Our data suggest that saliva and esophagus may be considered reservoirs for H. pylori in humans and emphasize the need to use more susceptible techniques for H. pylori detection, in particular in over-crowded sites. Identification of the transmission route of H. pylori is crucial in developing an effective plan of surveillance by finding new means of disease management.
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