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Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2001 Mar;47(1):3-7.

Seroprevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection among blood donors in Torino, Italy.

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UOADU Gastro-Hepatology, Azienda Ospedaliera S. Giovanni Battista (Molinette), Turin.



Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is one of the most common infections world-wide. A cohort effect model has been proposed to clarify the differences in the prevalence among the different age-class with a rate of infection higher in old individuals than in younger ones. The source of bacterial acquisition as well as the mode of transmission (oral-oral or fecal-oral) are still unknown and studies have confirmed the role of socio-economic factors and characteristics of childhood living conditions for the acquisition of H. pylori. In this study we analysed the age and gender-specific prevalence of H. pylori infection in a population of apparently healthy subjects, i.e. blood donors attending the blood bank of our hospital.


From April 1995 to July 1995, 619 consecutive volunteer blood donors (523 males, 96 females, mean age 47+/-5.3 years, range 18-65 years), attending the Molinette Hospital's Blood Bank (Torino), were recruited. H. pylori seroprevalence was assessed by presence of antibodies (IgG) against the bacterium in serum, by means of a commercial enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, Helori-test Eurospital).


The overall H. pylori seroprevalence in the population was 47%: 265/523 males (51%) were seropositive versus 26/96 females (27%) (p<0.0001, OR 2.77 [confidence interval 95% 1.674.61]). When subdivided into sex and decade of age-groups the difference was significative in three subgroups: among male subjects between 20-29 years, male subjects between 40-49 years and male subjects between 50-59 years. The seroprevalence was also significatively higher in older than younger both in males than females.


This study confirms the cohort effect and for a future survey an equilibrated number of persons belonging to the different groups will be planned.


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