Helicobacter pylori is one of the most commonly encountered particle-sized microorganisms that has made human societies infected on a global scale. It is said that more than 50% of the world's population is host to this pathogen. This bacterium may cause acute and chronic stomach ulcers, peptic ulcer and duodenal ulcer with its long-term consequences, including acute and chronic hemorrhage and gastric cancer, at long-term residence in the stomach.
One of the easiest ways to detect Helicobacter pylori is a blood test detecting antibodies that are formed in response to the infection. Despite the ease of doing the blood test, this method has two limitations: First, it cannot differentiate between an active infection that causes illness and a latent infection that does not cause any symptoms. Secondly, the blood test cannot indicate if the treatment has been successful and being able to eradicate bacteria or not, because antibacterial antibodies remain long after destruction in the blood.
The "Urea Breath Test" is a fast, accurate, and safe way to detect Helicobacter pylori, and since it only detects active bacteria, it can also be used to detect the effectiveness of the treatment. The urea breath test is very sensitive and has a high specificity in detecting active infection compared to serological tests. This test is used for a variety of populations including children, pregnant women, and patients who cannot bear endoscopy.
Requirements for testing:
- At least six hours of fasting before the test. Do not use antibiotics or Bismuth within four weeks before the test.
- Do not use proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole, anti-acids, histamine receptor antagonists such as Ranitidine, Famotidine and Cimetidine for at least one week prior the test (after consultation with your doctor)
- No smoking for one hour before the test.
Note: An alternative test for UBT is a Stool H. pylori antigen test that can be performed on the feces. The test is available at Payvand Laboratory.