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J Clin Microbiol. 2011 Oct;49(10):3638-43. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01067-11. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

Alaska sentinel surveillance study of Helicobacter pylori isolates from Alaska Native persons from 2000 to 2008.

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  • 1Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage, Alaska, USA.


Helicobacter pylori infection is more common in Alaska Native persons than in the general U.S. population, with seroprevalence to H. pylori approaching 75%. Previous studies in Alaska have demonstrated elevated proportions of antimicrobial resistance among H. pylori isolates. We analyzed H. pylori data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's sentinel surveillance in Alaska from January 2000 to December 2008 to determine the proportion of culture-positive biopsy specimens with antimicrobial resistance from Alaska Native persons undergoing endoscopy. The aim of the present study was to monitor antimicrobial resistance of H. pylori isolates over time and by region in Alaska Native persons. Susceptibility testing of H. pylori isolates to metronidazole, clarithromycin, amoxicillin, and tetracycline was performed using agar dilution. Susceptibility testing for levofloxacin was performed by Etest. Overall, 45% (532/1,181) of persons undergoing upper endoscopy were culture positive for H. pylori. Metronidazole resistance was demonstrated in isolates from 222/531 (42%) persons, clarithromycin resistance in 159/531 (30%) persons, amoxicillin resistance in 10/531 (2%) persons, and levofloxacin resistance in 30/155 (19%) persons; no tetracycline resistance was documented. The prevalence of metronidazole, clarithromycin, and levofloxacin resistance varied by region. Female patients were more likely than male patients to demonstrate metronidazole (P < 0.05) and clarithromycin (P < 0.05) resistance. No substantial change in the proportion of persons with resistant isolates was observed over time. Resistance to metronidazole, clarithromycin, and levofloxacin is more common among H. pylori isolates from Alaska Native persons than those from elsewhere in the United States.

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