Helicobacter pylori DNA in Dental Plaques, Gastroscopy, and Dental Devices
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- Al-Hawajri, A.A.N., Keret, D., Simhon, A. et al. Dig Dis Sci (2004) 49: 1091. doi:10.1023/B:DDAS.0000037793.28069.44
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The role of dental plaque in the transmission of Helicobacter pylori (Hp) is unclear due to variability in the detection rates and techniques used. We used nested PCR to estimate the incidence of Hp in dental plaques of 24 dental hygienists. We found an unexpectedly high incidence (50%) of Hp DNA in dental plaques using sterilized dental probes. Additional treatment of sonication and SDS wash prior to sterilization of dental probes reduced the incidence to 13%. We used the treated probes to assess Hp presence in plaque samples of 47 patients visiting the dental clinic for teeth cleaning. Hp DNA was detected in 24% of cases. Since these data may reflect instrument contamination, we tested dental probes, endoscopes, and endoscopy forceps and found that 12.5–37.5% of them were contaminated. Consequently, dental plaques may be a candidate reservoir for Hp, medical equipment may contribute to Hp transmission, and sample collection techniques can bias the true prevalence of Hp in a population.