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Helicobacter pylori Stool Antigen Test

The Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) stool antigen test is a non-invasive diagnostic method for assessing H. pylori infection.  H. pylori infection has been implicated in the pathogenesis of gastro-duodenal diseases.  Eradication of the opportunistic pathogen is associated with reduced levels of gastroduodenal ulcers and gastric cancer.

This bacteria is quite common, particularly in developing countries.  The bacteria is thought to be present in the gastrointestinal tracts of as much as 50% of the world's population.  A great majority of these individuals will not manifest symptoms; however the presence of H. pylori has been shown to increase the risk of developing ulcers (peptic ulcer disease), chronic gastritis and gastric cancer.  H. pylori has the ability to decrease mucus production in the stomach, thereby promoting acid damage and peptic ulcers.

 

Stool Antigen Testing

A stool antigen test can be used in order to assess the presence of H. pylori in the gastrointestinal tract.  The test is able to establish the presence of an active infection by analysing the sample for H. pylori antigens.  These are the antigens that are produced by the body's immune system in order to fight the infection.  The antigens assessed in the stool show a more reliable indicator of active infection as appose to an antigen blood test.  An antigen blood test would only indicate whether the patient has had an infection, not whether it is active. 

 

Specimen Requirements

The H. pylori stool antigen test requires one stool collection.  The test kit provided contains everything required to complete this test.

 

Patient Preparation

Patients must follow their usual diet prior to collecting a stool specimen.
The stool specimen must be collected in the morning, where possible or the first bowel motion of the day.

It is necessary to refrain from taking antacids, antibiotics or bismuth treatments for 14 days prior to completing the test.

 

Turnaround Time

The standard turnaround time for this test is 10-14 working days from the date the patient’s specimen/s are received at our laboratory.  

 

Test Results

Patient results are delivered via electronic download unless requested otherwise. Results can also be issued via hardcopy, fax or web based e-viewer.

 

Technical Support

All Australian Clinical Labs Functional Pathology tests are accompanied by an Interpretive Guide to assist practitioners in their clinical understanding and patient management for each result. Australian Clinical Labs Functional Pathology also has experienced full time Technical Advisors available for practitioners to discuss appropriate test selection, interpretation of test results, individual cases and other technical matters. Please call 1300 55 44 80 between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm  AEST or email csfp@AustralianClinicalLabs.com.au