Volume 59, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


To evaluate the hypothesis that gastric infection with Helicobacter pylori increases risk for diarrheal disease in children, we conducted a yearlong prospective study among 160 orphanage children < 5 years of age in Nonthaburi, Thailand. Serum samples collected at six-month intervals were examined by ELISA for antibodies to H. pylori, and children were followed daily for the development of diarrhea. Seven percent of children were seropositive on enrollment, 59% were seronegative, and 34% were indeterminate. Among the seronegative children, seroconversion occurred at a rate of 7% per six months. Forty-six percent of children developed 214 total episodes of diarrhea. By age group, children < 18 months, 18-24 months and > 24 months of age experienced 2.6, 1.1, and 0.2 mean diarrhea episodes per six months. The incidence of diarrhea was not significantly different between children by H. pylori serostatus. We conclude that H. pylori infection was not associated with an increased risk of diarrheal disease.


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