<span class="hpylori-bold">H. pylori</span> in Children

H. pylori is a common chronic infection in children

  • Transmitted predominantly among family members, and associated with crowded living conditions1-3
    • Infection usually occurs in children younger than 10 years of age4
  • May become chronic without treatment5

*Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III of children ages 6 to 19 years.

Consequences of H. pylori infection in children

May cause:

  • Duodenal ulcers and gastric ulcers5
  • Progressive gastric mucosal damage5,6

Additional considerations:

  • International studies suggest H. pylori may cause growth delay in children5,7
  • Untreated childhood infection can lead to eventual development of malignancies such as gastric adenocarcinoma and gastric lymphoma6

Diagnosing H. pylori infection in children

  • In most children, H. pylori infection is not clinically apparent, even when causing chronic active gastritis6
  • Children may present with gnawing or burning pain in the epigastrium, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite8
  • Look for transmission between mother and child and siblings, which is most common
  • Another determinant is living in or originating from high-prevalence areas2
H. pylori in children

This is a simple test that detects active infection with H. pylori, a Class I carcinogen that may be one factor leading to gastric cancer.9-11

BreathTek UBT is indicated for children ages 3 to 17 years old and must be administered by a health care professional, as ordered by a licensed health care practitioner.9

H. pylori is one of many contributing factors to gastric cancer.10 Invasive and noninvasive H. pylori diagnostic tools are available. BreathTek UBT is a reliable, noninvasive option.9

  • Staat MA, Kruszon-Moran D, McQuillan GM, Kaslow RA. A population-based serologic survey of Helicobacter pylori infection in children and adolescents in the United States. J Infect Dis. 1996;174(5):1120-1123.
  • Kivi M, Tindberg Y. Helicobacter pylori occurrence and transmission: a family affair? Scand J Infect Dis. 2006;38(6-7):407-417.
  • Cervantes DT, Fischbach LA, Goodman KJ, Phillips CV, Chen S, Broussard CS. Exposure to Helicobacter pylori–positive siblings and persistence of Helicobacter pylori infection in early childhood. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2010;50(5):481-485.
  • Malaty HM, El-Kasabany A, Graham DY, et al. Age at acquisition of Helicobacter pylori infection: a follow-up study from infancy to adulthood. Lancet. 2002;359(9310):931-935.
  • Pacifico L, Anania C, Osborn JF, Ferraro F, Chiesa C. Consequences of Helicobacter pylori infection in children. World J Gastroenterol. 2010;16(41):5181-5194.
  • Gold B, Colletti R, Abbott M, et al. Helicobacter pylori infections in children: recommendations for diagnosis and treatment. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2000;31(5):490-497.
  • Goodman KJ, Correa P, Mera R, et al. Effect of Helicobacter pylori infection on growth velocity of school-age Andean children. Epidemiology. 2011;22(1):118-126.
  • Uc A, Chong SK. Treatment of Helicobacter pylori gastritis improves dyspeptic symptoms in children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2002;34(3):281-285.
  • BreathTek UBT [package insert]. Rockville, MD: Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.; 2019.
  • The Centre for Digestive Diseases. Helicobacter pylori. http://centrefordigestivediseases.com/helicobacter-pylori/. Accessed March 12, 2019.
  • Ables AZ, Simon I, Melton ER. Update on Helicobacter pylori treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75(3):351-358.