N-Acetylcysteine, a Novel Treatment for Helicobacter pylori Infection
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N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), being both a mucolytic agent and a thiol-containing antioxidant, may affect the establishment and maintenance of H. pylori infection within the gastric mucus layer and mucosa. Agar and broth dilution susceptibility tests determined the MIC of H. pylori strain SSI to NAC. H. pylori load in SSI strain-infected C57BL mice was determined as colony forming units per gram of gastric tissue. Gastritis assessment was scored and gastric surface hydrophobicity was determined by contact angle measurement. MICs of NAC were 5 to 10 and 10 to 15 mg/ml using the agar dilution and broth dilution methods, respectively. NAC (120 mg per day for 14 days) reduced the H. pylori load in mice by almost 1 log compared with sham treatment. Pretreatment with NAC (40 mg/day) also significantly reduced the H. pylori load but did not prevent H. pylori colonization. Both H. pylori infection and NAC reduced the surface hydrophobicity of murine gastric mucosa. No significant differences were observed in the gastritis scores of H. felis- or H. pylori-infected mice receiving either NAC or sham treatments. This study demonstrates that NAC inhibits the growth of H. pylori in both agar and broth susceptibility tests and in H. pylori-infected mice. NAC did not alter the severity of H. pylori- or H. felis-induced gastritis.
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