Helicobacter pylori is bacteria that is found in the gastric and oral mucosa. H. pylori is associated with symptoms such as abdominal cramping, halitosis, heartburn and gastritis and has also been shown to be the leading cause of gastric ulcers.
H.pylori stool testing involves the detection of H. pylori antigens present in human stool samples. The H. pylori antigen test is a non-invasive test that utilizes the patient’s own immune response to confirm the presence of active infection.
The Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) stool antigen test is a non-invasive diagnostic method for assessing H. pylori infection. H. pylori infection has been implicated in the pathogenesis of gastro-duodenal diseases. Eradication of the opportunistic pathogen is associated with reduced levels of gastroduodenal ulcers and gastric cancer.
This bacteria is quite common, particularly in developing countries. The bacteria is thought to be present in the gastrointestinal tracts of as much as 50% of the world's population. A great majority of these individuals will not manifest symptoms; however the presence of H. pylori has been shown to increase the risk of developing ulcers (peptic ulcer disease), chronic gastritis and gastric cancer. H. pylori has the ability to decrease mucus production in the stomach, thereby promoting acid damage and peptic ulcers.
Stool Antigen Testing:
A stool antigen test can be used in order to assess the presence of H. pylori in the gastrointestinal tract. The test is able to establish the presence of an active infection by analysing the sample for H. pylori antigens. These are the antigens that are produced by the body's immune system in order to fight the infection. The antigens assessed in the stool show a more reliable indicator of active infection as appose to an antigen blood test. An antigen blood test would only indicate whether the patient has had an infection, not whether it is active.
The H. pylori stool antigen test requires one stool collection. Once the practitioner has given the patient a referral form, the patient can order their test kit online at www.befunctional.com.au. The test kit provided contains everything required to complete this test.
- Patients must follow their usual diet prior to collecting a stool specimen
- The stool specimen must be collected in the morning, where possible or the first bowel motion of the day
- If the patient is currently taking antibiotics, only proceed with this collection two weeks after the patient can completed the course of probiotic therapy.
- Natural laxatives can be used if constipation is a problem. This includes herbal and nutritional supplements. Do not use pharmaceutical laxatives as these medications can alter test results.
- It is necessary to refrain from taking antacids, antibiotics or bismuth treatments for 14 days prior to completing the test.
The standard turnaround time for this test is 10-14 working days from the date the patient’s specimen/s are received at our laboratory.
Results are delivered to the referring practitioner via electronic download unless requested otherwise. Results can also be issued via hardcopy, fax or web based e-viewer.