Occupational exposure to Helicobacter pylori for the endoscopy professional: A sera epidemiological study

J. Chong, B. J. Marshall, J. S. Barkin, R. W. McCallum, D. K. Reiner, S. R. Hoffman, C. O'Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this prospective study was to determine if medical and nursing staff in the United States who are regularly involved in endoscopic procedures are at an increased risk of acquiring Helicobacter pylori infection. Methods: One hundred and twenty-two gastroendoscopists and endoscopy nurses attending an advanced gastroendoscopy course (17 women, 105 men) completed a questionnaire consisting of past medical and professional history. Serum from each subject was collected and tested using a validated ELISA assay (sensitivity 99%, specificity 96%). H. pylori prevalence in the experimental group was compared to that of 510 blood donors. Results: In all age groups, H. pylori positivity was significantly higher among the study subjects compared with controls. Caucasian subjects, when matched to controls for age, race, and level of education, had significantly higher rates of H. pylori positivity. Foreign-born subjects, when compared to US-born subjects, also had higher rates of H. pylori positivity. There was no statistical difference of H. pylori positivity with respect to gender, years involved in endoscopy, or number of endoscopies performed monthly. Conclusion: H. pylori infection is more common in gastroendoscopists and endoscopy nurses than the general population and should be viewed as an occupational hazard.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1987-1992
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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