How widespread is the pathogenic gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori in the German population? In the study "Helicobacter pylori prevalence, therapy success, resistance" (HelicoPTER), for which volunteers are currently being sought, scientists of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) are investigating this question, among others.
Helicobacter pylori is a gastric pathogen that causes chronic gastritis in infected individuals. Globally, almost one in two people is infected with the bacterium, in Germany about one in three. In about 15 percent of those affected, inflammation leads to gastric ulcers, and in one to two percent even to stomach cancer. Timely detection and treatment of the infection with antibiotics has been shown to reduce the risk of developing stomach cancer, although the success of therapy is increasingly hampered by antibiotic resistance to the bacterium.
The HelicoPTER study of the DZIF aims to improve the clinical management—both diagnostics and treatment—of the gastric pathogen. In order to select suitable detection and therapy methods, the study will collect current data on the frequency and severity of H. pylori infections in the German population as well as on the situation of antibiotic resistance.
The centres involved in the study at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Technical University of Munich, Hannover Medical School and University Hospital Tübingen are therefore looking for study participants. Subjects can be tested for H. pylori free of charge by means of a blood test. If an infection is confirmed, further tests will follow, including a gastroscopy, to determine the impact of the infection. If medically necessary, treatment tailored to the pathogen can then be initiated.
For information about the study (in German) and a link to register, visit helicobacter-testen.de.
Source: Hannover Medical School (in German)