The effect of exposure to antibiotics on incidence and spontaneous clearance of childhood Helicobacter pylori infection
It is claimed often in the H. pylori literature that spontaneous clearance (infection loss without attempts to treat) is uncommon, though little evidence supports this claim. Emerging evidence suggests that spontaneous clearance may be frequent in young children; however, factors that determine persistence of untreated H. pylori infection in childhood are not well understood. The author hypothesized that antibiotics taken for common infections cause spontaneous clearance of H. pylori infection in children. The Pasitos Cohort Study (19982005) investigated predictors of acquisition and persistence of H. pylori infection in children from El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, enrolled prenatally at maternal-child clinics. Children were screened for infection at target intervals of 6 months from 6-84 months of age by the 13C-urea breath test corrected for body-size-dependent variation in CO2 production. This dissertation aimed to estimate the risk of spontaneous clearance at the next test following an initial detected H. pylori infection (first detected clearance), estimate the effect of antibiotic exposure on the risk of first detected clearance (risk difference), and estimate the effect of antibiotic exposure on the rate of first detected infection (rate ratio). Data on infection status and medication history were available for 608 children followed for a mean of 3.5 years. Among 265 subjects with a first detected infection, 218 had a subsequent test, and among them, the risk of first detected clearance was 68% (95% CI: 61-74%). Children who took antibiotics during the interval between first detected infection and next test had an increased probability (risk difference of 10 percentage points) of a first detected clearance. However, there was also a similar effect of average antibiotic use >0 courses across all intervals preceding the next test. Average antibiotic exposure across all intervals preceding the first detected infection appeared to have a much stronger protective effect than interval/specific exposure when estimating incidence rate ratios (0.45 vs. 1.0). Incidental antibiotic exposure appears to influence the acquisition and duration of childhood H. pylori infection, however, given that many exposed children acquired the infection and many unexposed children cleared the infection, antibiotic exposure does not explain all infection events.
Broussard, Cheryl Schroedter, "The effect of exposure to antibiotics on incidence and spontaneous clearance of childhood Helicobacter pylori infection" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3290035.