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Why the antibody blood test?

There are several types of tests for H.pylori. The major ones have a their own forum.

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shickey
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:24 pm

Why the antibody blood test?

Post by shickey » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:37 pm

How is the antibody blood test a suitable test for determining if you have an active h pylori infection? If I have been exposed to h pylori, than of course I will have antibodies. That doesn’t mean I have an active infection, right? Many people live with h pylori (half the world according to Wikipedia) and don’t automatically have a problem. And if that is NOT the problem and something else is, deciding to take the antibiotic treatment, especially when probiotics are virtually never prescribed as part of the post treatment, aren’t people who have taken a lot of antibiotics putting themselves in a huge risk of developing an even bigger problem with h.pylori down the road? And in fact don’t studies show that one’s chances of getting reinfected are fairly high? Wouldn’t the breath test or stool test or endoscopy be the first test someone should take to be sure before taking antibiotics? I'm asking this because my doctor gave me the antibody test and when it turned out positive, immediately sent in a prescription for antibiotics. If this makes my situation worse, I'm going to be pretty bummed.

tornado82
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:09 am

Re: Why the antibody blood test?

Post by tornado82 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:59 pm

Ive wondered about this as well, as I was diagnosed via blood test. What took me to the doctor though was not stomach related issues initially. I was having chest pain that came out of no where one day. Felt like something was stuck in my esophogus. Doctor immediately suspected Acid Reflux. I have never had any heartburn or acid reflux problems in my life so I was baffled how one day I was fine and then wake up and have chest pain and reflux. I asked to be tested for H. Pylori expecting it to be negative, but surprisingly was told it was positive. Im now on triple therapy.

I had shown no real symptoms like most people mention for h. pylori. I had no indigestion problems or nausea or stool problems. I had no pain or discomfort in my stomach. I had a sudden onset of acid reflux problems and then 2 weeks later was positive for h. pylori. I am left to assume that my chest pain and issues that seemingly came out of no where are because of H. Pylori but I often wonder if I actually have or had an active infection. Does a positive blood test mean you have an active infection or will it still show positive even if H. Pylori is sitting dorment in your stomach as it does in many people? I dont know.

Helico_expert
Site Admin
Posts: 2785
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:20 am

Re: Why the antibody blood test?

Post by Helico_expert » Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:30 pm

H. pylori doesnt really go "dormant" in the stomach. They causes gastritis and you just dont feel it. Majority of people with infection are assymtomatic. Current guideline suggests that if you dont feel anything, you dont need treatment. However, if you are diagnosed with H. pylori infection, the doctor has a duty of care to get rid of it.

blood test doesnt show your current infection status. You are right that if you had infection before, you will always be positive. If you just completed your treatment and eradicated H. pylori, the antibody can stay in your blood for months or even years. If you recently taken antibiotics for other diseases and coincidently eradicated H. pylori, the antibody will still be positive too.

Breath/stool test are the only tests to test your current infection status.

AntibodyScience
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:35 am

Re: Why the antibody blood test?

Post by AntibodyScience » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:47 am

Although, as you said, breath or stool tests are better at detecting current infections, a blood test is not totally irrelevant in this context. Yes, our immune system keeps the memory of earlier infections via preserving antibodies against infectious bodies. However, the concentration of that ‘memory’ antibodies is much lower when compared to the case of active infection. Therefore, you should expect to have the lower amount of H.pylori antibody after certain period over the eradication of H.pylori. Indeed, a few follow-up studies show that antibody levels decrease after treatment against H.pylori (Kato et al. Pediatrics. 1999 Aug;104(2):e22.; Koizumi et al. Hepatogastroenterology. 2003 Jan-Feb;50(49):293-6.). I am not sure of the method your pathologist follow to resolve differences in antibody levels between eradicated and active infection. But, to give you a clue, titrating blood serum before antibody test may drag antibody level down to the negative window for dedicated infection, while still showing positive for active infection.

Resoures
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4981769/
http://www.genetex.com/uploaddata/Produ ... _1.4-3.pdf

Helico_expert
Site Admin
Posts: 2785
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:20 am

Re: Why the antibody blood test?

Post by Helico_expert » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:14 am

you are absolutely right. The antibody concentration should drop over time. Unfortunately not many people has a base line how much anti-HP antibody one person has before and after treatment. In many hospital, they only have a record of positive or negative.

Sometimes, we do come across patients with borderline test for breath and stool test. CLOtest is pinkish (undertermined). Pathology is suspicious. Then we would ask for blood test with actual antibody level.

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