The aim of this study was to monitor the Helicobacter pylori antibody seroprevalence of an asymptomatic cohort between the ages of 4 and 18 y. The H. pylori antibody titres in a longitudinally followed cohort of 168 native Swedish children (born between 1972 and 1974) were established at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 18 y of age. Seventeen children (10.1%) were found positive on at least one occasion when a paediatric cut-off was applied. Five children (3.0%) reached levels considered positive in adults. The seroprevalence at 4 y of age was 4.0%, at 8 y 2.5%, at 12 y 4.9%, at 16 y 5.3%, and at 18 y 6.3%. The difference in serological titres between the age groups was not significant. A change from negative to positive after the age of 4 took place in 5 of the cases. Spontaneous seroreversion appeared in 5 cases. CONCLUSION: Our findings showed no significant differences among the various age groups. Seventeen of the 168 children (10.1%) had been infected at some time, the prevalence ranging from 2.5% to 6.3%. Seroconversion and seroreversion occurred infrequently between the ages of 4 and 18 y.
Subject classification (UKÄ)