Helicobacter Pylori Antibody Testing
Gastric colonization by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is causally related to the development of most cases of duodenal and gastric ulcers. H. pylori infection has also been associated with adenocarcinoma and lymphoma of the stomach. Nearly 50% of the population world wide is infected by H. pylori, as indicated by the detection of antibodies to H.pylori. About 10% of infected individuals develop ulcers and 1% develop gastric cancers. As H. pylori colonizes, it activates the host's immune responses to produce antibodies.
These circulating serum antibodies (IgM, IgA and IgG) specific to H. pylori in patients are a good indicator of chronic and active infections.
The IgM antibody is the early responder. It is elevated during the early stages of an exposure to H. pylori. There are two possible outcomes, either the immune system will eradicate the bacteria or the bacteria will begin to populate the mucosal lining of the upper GI tract. If IgM is the only elevated antibody to H. pylori, it must be correlated with active symptoms to warrant treatment.
The IgA antibody is the intermediate responder and quantitatively the most prevalent humoral antibody. If IgA is elevated, there is presumptive evidence that an infection exists and it is transitioning from acute to chronic/long term condition.
The IgG antibody is the long term responder. The IgG elevations mean that either a long term chronic infection exists, or it is indicative of a protective antibody from a past infection that was resolved. Nearly all studies have found that successful treatment is associated with a reduction in IgG level; hence, it can be used to monitor the success of treatment.
Detection of these antibodies are indicated in clinical symptomatology involving gastritis, gastric and peptic ulceration, and non-ulcer dyspepsia and also function as a treatment evaluation technique involving such clinical cases. These antibodies are detected using chemiluminescence and ELISA techniques
These tests (the three antibodies) are only available at Alfa Lab, they are done on serum samples, no special preparation for the patient is required and results are the fastest available twice per week