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Ahmed KS, Khan AA, Ahmed I, Tiwari SK, Habeeb MA, Ali SM, Ahi JD, Abid Z, Alvi A, Hussain MA, Ahmed N, Habibullah CM
Correspondence: Prof C M Habibullah, email@example.com
Introduction Since the discovery of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), much progress has been made worldwide in the field of its epidemiology. In spite of these advancements, many aspects of epidemiology still remain unclear, particularly among populations with low socio-economic status. The present study was designed to elucidate the different routes of transmission of H. pylori in the Hyderabad (South India) population and to investigate the impact of certain factors, such as age, gender, and lifestyle.
Methods Samples used for the study included saliva and biopsy samples of 400 symptomatic subjects from Hyderabad, India. The patients were retrospectively grouped, based on histopathology of the biopsy and 16S rRNA amplification of both saliva and biopsy as H. pylori positive and negative.
Results This study showed that the prevalence of H. pylori in both saliva and biopsy samples increased with age. In addition, the H. pylori infection was found more commonly in the saliva and biopsy samples among males (64 percent and 60 percent, respectively) than females (53.3 percent and 64 percent, respectively). Similarly, 71.6 percent and 73.5 percent of those who consumed municipal water acquired H. pylori (which were respectively found in their saliva and biopsy samples) compared to a lesser proportion (12.6 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively) of those who consumed boiled or filtered water. The study also found that subjects who preferred home-cooked food (57.1 percent and 57.7 percent) showed a lower prevalence of H. pylori in saliva and biopsy samples, respectively, compared to those (80 percent and 88 percent) who frequently ate out.
Conclusion The results of the present study suggest that besides the oral-oral route, the transmission of H. pylori also takes place through the consumption of food prepared under unhygienic conditions. Consumption of municipal tap water also has a high impact in the transmission of H. pylori.
Keywords: gastrointestinal disease, Helicobacter pylori, 16S rRNA, saliva, water disease transmission
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(4): 291-296