Aim: Potential risk factors and prevalence associated with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in apparently healthy children in Nigeria were studied.
Study Design: To investigate the current potential risk factors associated with recent prevalence of H. pylori in apparently healthy children in Nigeria.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in two Local Government Areas, Alimosho and Ajeromi, of Lagos State, Nigeria between March and September 2014.
Methodology: Seroprevalence status of 185 asymptomatic children made up of 93 males and 92 females, aged between 2-16 years were selected by randomized stratified sampling with descriptive questionnaire. Serum immunoglobulin G H. pylori antibody of the individual subjects was determined using DiaSpot H. pylori kit while fecal samples of same group were analysed for HpSAg using immunoassay test kit of Helicobacter pylori Stool Antigen (HpSAg).
Results: Of 185 children tested for H. pylori antigen, 134 (68.7%) and 51(26.2%) were classified as seropositive and fecal HpSA positive respectively. Highest rate of 40.0% and 34.6% of the children weighing between 21 and 40 kg were positive while 29.2% and 32.5% children of parents that were traders were positive to serum H. pylori antigen and fecal HpSA respectively. Only 12.4% and 14.1% children from artisan parents were positive but different age group have no association with the infectivity or prevalence of fecal H. pylori antigen (OR=0.67, CI=0.142-0.152). Significant higher percentage of seropositivity of 59.0% and fecal positivity of 55.7% was recorded among children from 5-8 people in a room (p>0.05), while Households with regular potable water supply have lower H. pylori seropositivity and fecal positivity of 11.9% and 7.6% compared with households that sometimes have water supply. The Households that never had water supply had highest number of seropositivity of 40.0% and 18.4%, respectively. Sewage nearness to kitchen indicates 30.8% and 28.7% H. pylori seropositive and fecal positivity rate among children.
Conclusion: Paediatric H. pylori prevalence is highly associated with water borne infection and poor sanitary practices. There is need for achievable interventions and improvement in environmental sanitation.