The use of non-invasive stool tests for verification of Helicobacter pylori eradication and clarithromycin resistance

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Clarithromycin resistance of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) represents a major challenge in eradication therapy. In this study, we assessed if non-invasive stool tests can be used to verify successful H. pylori eradication and determine clarithromycin resistance. 

Materials and methods:

In this prospective study, patients undergoing urea breath testing (UBT) for confirmation of H. pylori eradication were asked to collect the stool as both a dry fecal sample and fecal immunochemical test (FIT). Stool H. pylori antigen testing (SAT) was performed on these samples and assessed for its accuracy in eradication verification. Type and duration of antibiotic treatment were retrospectively collected from patient records and compared with clarithromycin resistance determined by PCR of stool samples. 


H. pylori eradication information was available for a total of 145 patients (42.7% male, median age: 51.2). Successful eradication was achieved in 68.1% of patients. SAT on FIT samples had similar accuracy for eradication assessment compared to dry fecal samples, 72.1% [95% CI 61.4–81.2] versus 72.2% [95% CI 60.9–81.7]. Clarithromycin resistance rate was 13.4%. 


H. pylori antigen testing on FIT stool samples to verify H. pylori eradication is feasible and has similar accuracy as H. pylori antigen testing on dry stool samples. Dry stool, but not FIT, was suitable for non-invasive identification of H. pylori clarithromycin resistance by rt-PCR personalizing antibiotic treatment strategies without the need for invasive diagnostics is desirable, as the cure rate of first-line empirical H. pylori treatment remains low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-903
Number of pages10
JournalUnited European Gastroenterology Journal
Issue number9
Early online date18 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. United European Gastroenterology Journal published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of United European Gastroenterology.


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