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Scand J Gastroenterol. 1993 Nov;28(11):993-8.

Breath methane excretion and intestinal methanogenesis in children and adults in rural Nigeria.

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PHLS Centre for Applied Microbiology & Research, Porton Down, Salisbury, UK.


Breath methane excretion was measured in 274 healthy subjects from 2 rural communities in northern Nigeria. Studies in 24 adults showed a normal faecal flora with no enteric pathogens. Breath methane was detected in 122 (77%) of 159 adults, 19 (40%) of 47 older children (2-6 years), and 4 (8%) of 68 young children (< 2 years). Women were slightly more commonly breath methane-positive than men (82% versus 75%, respectively). Hyperventilation did not influence the specificity of the breath methane assay, although levels were circa 30% lower after deliberate hyperventilation. Methanogens were estimated by enrichment culture of faeces from 49 subjects. Of the subjects 76% had faecal methanogens estimated at > or = 10(2)/g, 45% at > or = 10(4)/g, and 16% at > or = 10(6)/g. There was no significant difference in distribution of methanogenic cultures between different age or tribal groups, and there were no obvious correlations between breath methane excretion and either the faecal carriage of methanogens per se or numbers present.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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