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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2003 May-Jun;36(5):396-8.

Use of lactoferrin for Helicobacter pylori eradication. Preliminary results.

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Section of Gastroenterology, University of Parma, Italy.



One-week triple therapy is the most frequently recommended treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection. The associated eradication rate is satisfactory; nevertheless, it is advisable to look for more effective therapies. Our aim was to test the efficacy of a standard triple therapy plus bovine lactoferrin for the eradication of H. pylori infection.


This open, randomized, single-center study was designed to include 150 consecutive H. pylori-positive patients with dyspeptic symptoms and gastritis who received triple therapy with rabeprazole, clarithromycin, and tinidazole plus lactoferrin for 7 days (group A), rabeprazole, clarithromycin, and tinidazole for 7 days (group B), or rabeprazole, clarithromycin, and tinidazole for 10 days (group C). H. pylori status was assessed 8 weeks after the end of treatment by means of the 13C-urea breath test or H. pylori stool antigen test.


The 7-day treatment including lactoferrin (group A) was successful in 100% (24/24) of the patients. The eradication rates in groups B and C were 76.9% (20/26 patients; 95% CI, 61%-93%) and 70.8% (17/24 patients; 95% CI, 53%-89%), respectively. A significant difference was found between group A and group B (P = 0.023) and group A and group C (P = 0.022). No differences were found between group B and group C (P = 1.00).


These results suggest that lactoferrin could be a new, effective agent when added to antimicrobial therapy for the eradication of H. pylori. This treatment schedule could be proposed for larger trials of H. pylori eradication therapy, focusing on the excellent preliminary cure rate, good compliance to the treatment schedule, and relatively low price of lactoferrin for full treatment.

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