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Free Content Helicobacter pylori antigens in the faeces of asymptomatic children in the Buea and Limbe health districts of Cameroon: a pilot study

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Summary Objective 

To determine the prevalence and identify intra-familial risk factors associated with Helicobacter pylori infection in a paediatric population. Methods 

Cross-sectional study in the Buea and Limbe health districts, South West Cameroon. Stool samples were collected from 176 randomly selected apparently healthy children from two communities with different socioeconomic status. They comprised 86 males and 90 females aged 0–10 years with a mean age of 4.29. Helicobacter pylori status was determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the H. pylori stool antigen (HpSA) test. The test uses polyclonal anti-H. pylori capture antibody to detect H. pylori antigens in human stool. Epidemiological data were analysed using the Fisher test and odds ratio (OR) at 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results 

The overall prevalence of H. pylori was 52.27% (92 of 176). Univariate analysis showed that H. pylori prevalence was significantly higher in children of the low socioeconomic class, 62.50% (55 of 88) than in those of the high socioeconomic class, 42.05% (37 of 88) (P < 0.05; OR = 2.41, 95% CI: 1.26–4.64). Helicobacter pylori prevalence increased with age from 37.50% (12 of 32) for children aged <3 years, 50.00% (53 of 106) aged 3–6 years and 71.05% (27 of 38) aged 7–10 years (P > 0.05; OR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.34–1.91). The frequency of infection was significantly higher in males, 64.00% (55 of 86) than in females, 41.11% (37 of 90), (P < 0.05; OR = 2.67, 95% CI: 1.39–5.17). Conclusions 

This study highlights the continuing importance of age, sex and socioeconomic status in the acquisition of H. pylori infection.
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Keywords: Cameroon; Helicobacter pylori; antigen; children; prevalence; socioeconomic class

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon 2:  Child Health, Division of Developmental Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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