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      Evaluation of a commercial immunoblot, Helicoblot 2.1, for diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection.

      Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI

      Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antigens, Bacterial, analysis, Bacterial Proteins, Blotting, Western, methods, Female, Helicobacter Infections, diagnosis, Helicobacter pylori, isolation & purification, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Sensitivity and Specificity

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          The best method to diagnose Helicobacter pylori infection in different clinical situations is controversial. The aim of the study was to assess the performance of a commercial immunoblot, Helicoblot 2.1. The study comprised 215 patients, who were grouped according to the presence of H. pylori infection (assessed by two gastroscopies including histology with a median interval of 7.1 years, enzyme immunoassay [EIA]-based serology, and history of previous H. pylori infections and eradication therapies) into four categories: no H. pylori infection ever, previous infection, ongoing infection, and EIA seropositivity as the only marker of a possible previous infection. The sensitivity of Helicoblot 2.1 to show an ongoing or previous H. pylori infection was 100% and 92%, respectively. Helicoblot 2.1 was negative in only 80% of individuals with no evidence of present or previous infection but in 96% of patients 50 years of age or younger. The current infection marker of the immunoblot was positive in 49% of patients with successful H. pylori eradication therapy. After successful eradication therapy, Helicoblot 2.1 sustained positive results in 87% of patients, and CagA positivity was detected in 87% of patients with follow-up samples for more than 10 years after therapy. Helicoblot 2.1 is a sensitive and, among patients of ages 50 years or younger, a specific test in the primary diagnosis of H. pylori infection. However, it does not discriminate between past and current infections. It can be used in epidemiological studies assessing the role of H. pylori in different late sequelae.

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