Seroprevalence of Helicobacter Pylori Infection in Patients Attending Felege Hiwot Hospital in Bahir Dar, North West Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Infection with Helicobacter pylori occurs worldwide, but the prevalence varies greatly among countries and among population groups within the same country. H. pylori, a previously obscure organism, has now been associated with many of the most important diseases involving gastroduodenal tissues. Because dyspepsia is one of the commonest complaints in any Ethiopian Out Patient Department, this study was undertaken to determine the magnitude of H.pylori infection in adult patients with and without dyspeptic symptoms. Overall total of 200 [128(64%) males and 72(36%) females], 100 dyspeptic (48 males and 52 females) and 100 non-dyspeptic (80 males and 20 females) patients attending Felege Hiwot Hospital, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, were investigated for H.pylori infection between mid November- mid March 2003. Sera obtained from the blood by centrifugation were tested for presence of IgG antibodies against H.pylori antigens using EIA. Of the total 200 studied subjects, 112 (56%) positive, 66 (33%) negative and 22 (11%) were borderlines for H.pylori infection by EIA. Of these 68(53.1%) of males and 44 (61.1%) of females were seropositive for H.pylori infection. There was no statistically significant difference in H.pylori seropositivity between males and females, p>0.05. All sera (200) were also tested for detection of IgG antibobies to specific H.pylori proteins by immunoblot (IB) analysis to confirm EIA results. All sera yielded positive in EIA were positive in IB assay and all sera that were negative in EIA were also negative in IB assay results. Out of 22 borderline results by EIA, 12 (6 males and 6 females) were confirmed to be positive. Combining EIA and IB, the overall seroprevalence of H.pylori in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia was 49- 70% and the seroprevalence of dyspeptics and non-dyspeptics was 63-70% and 49-54%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference between dyspeptics and non-dyspeptics, P> 0.05. In conclusion, there was no significant difference in the rate of H.pylori infection between dyspeptic and non-dyspeptic patients, sex, ABO blood groups and presence or absence of rhesus factors. But there is insufficient evidence to confirm or refute the existence of difference in the rate of seroprevalence between dyspeptic and non-dyspeptics. The burden of illness due to dyspepsia with respect to quality of life and economic consequences is of considerable from economic, social, and personal vantage points. For this effective, safe, accessible and consistent control strategy is crucial. This study showed that serological methods (EIA and IB) could be used as diagnostic tools to determine the status of H. pylori infection and for epidemiological studies. Because Ethiopia is endowed with different ethnic groups, therefore, serological assays should be evaluated for each particular group and adjusting cutoff value is necessary to use serological tests as a screening tool.