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Seroepidemiology of Helicobacter pylori infection in a Jamaican community

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We researched epidemiologic associations between environmental and demographic factors and prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in a suburban Jamaican community. Using a clustered sampling technique, 22 domestic yards enclosing 60 separate households were randomly selected from a local community. All household members (= 346) were invited to participate following informed consent; the overall compliance rate was 58.9%. A commercial enzyme immunoassay (HMáCAP) was used to detect IgG antibodies raised against H. pylori. Environmental and demographic information was obtained by questionnaire. The seroprevalence of H. pylori was 69.9% (= 202). Analysis of the independent variables revealed three major components: Component 1 described, collectively, good personal hygiene and sanitation, indoor water supply and absence of straying animals in the peridomestic area; Component 2 included older age, good personal hygiene and large yard size; Component 3 the presence of domestic animals (cats and dogs) and, again, large yard size. These three complexes explained 42.2% of the variability in the data set. Logistic regression showed that Components 2 and 3 were independently associated with H. pylori seropositivity, indicating that a combination of demographic, environmental and zoonotic factors is involved in the spread of H. pylori infections at the tropical community level.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori; Jamaica; children; community; domestic animals; epidemiology; hygiene; sanitation; seroprevalence

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Microbiology, The University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica 2: Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica 3: Center for Disease Prevention, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, USA 4: Department of Medicine, The University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica

Publication date: December 1, 1999

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