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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1996 Aug 15;142(1):37-42.

Mechanism of clarithromycin resistance in clinical isolates of Helicobacter pylori.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control, University Hospital, "Vrije Universiteit', Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Seventy-three Helicobacter pylori-positive patients were treated with a combination of clarithromycin and ranitidine in order to eradicate the bacterium. Eradication was successful in 79.5%. In 15 patients eradication failed, and in 11 cases this was due to clarithromycin resistance. In one patient the infecting strain was resistant at the onset of treatment, while in the remaining 10 patients resistance developed during therapy. These isolates had also become resistant to various other antibiotics. Random amplified polymorphic DNA and restriction fragment end-labeling analysis of the isolates showed close genetic relatedness between pre- and post-treatment isolates, indicating that resistance was the result of selection of variants of the infecting strain rather then infection with an exogenous resistant strain. Nucleotide sequence comparisons revealed that all resistant isolates had a single base pair mutation in the 23S rRNA. Since this single point mutation results in co-resistance to various antibiotics at high frequencies, caution should be taken when using clarithromycin as a single antibiotic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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