Helicobacter pylori
(Microbiology)
Investigations Detection of Helicobacter pylori antigens in faeces specimens
Inform lab before sending No
Specimen type Faeces
Ideal time to take specimen As soon as possible after the onset of symptoms and during episode of diarrhoea
Labelling requirements click here
How to take the specimen A blue sterile universal container with spoon, a sterile white capped universal, or a sputum pot. The specimen container should not be filled to the brim. A walnut sized portion of stool or about 10ml of liquid faeces is sufficient.
Transport to the laboratory As soon as possible. If transport is delayed then refrigerate.

Specimen transport - RLBUHT: Samples should be transported and tested as soon as possible.
Specimen transport - Aintree: Specimens are sent by courier to RLUH. The samples may be stored at 2-8°C for up to three days without interference with the assay performance.
Test Times Twice weekly
Turnround Up to 72 hrs, excluding weekends
Additional information  
Additional Examination Requests Please ensure that any requests for additional investigations on the specimen are made within 7 days from the date of the original request.


Investigations Culture for Helicobacter pylori
Inform lab before sending Yes - 24hr hour advance warning to request Dents transport medium
Specimen type Gastric biopsy in Dents transport medium (obtained from Microbiology )
Ideal time to take specimen H. pylori culture and sensitivities on gastric biopsies should be considered after the first treatment failure if an endoscopy is carried out. Following a second treatment failure, culture and sensitivity should be performed on all cases.
Ideally biopsies should be taken before antimicrobial therapy is begun, however a ‘test and treat’ strategy for the diagnosis of H. pylori is recommend by NICE and therefore most samples referred for culture will be due to treatment failure. A period of at least two weeks should have elapsed since the last dose of antimicrobial therapy before the collection of the specimen.
Gastric biopsy specimens are usually taken from the gastric antrum at endoscopy, and sometimes from the main body of the stomach depending on location of inflammation.
Duodenal biopsies will be taken in cases with duodenal ulcers.
Labelling requirements click here
How to take the specimen Place tissue in DENT broth provided or if no broth available, a sterile universal container with a few drops of saline to prevent drying. If transport is delayed then store at +4°C.
Transport to the laboratory As soon as possible following collection
Test Times Monday to Friday
Turnround 15 days from receipt in Reference Laboratory
Additional information Sent to Public Health England, Gastrointestinal Bacteria Referral Laboratory Reference Laboratory request to avoid sending samples on Fridays
Additional Examination Requests  


Investigations Helicobacter pylori

Serology Tests
H. pylori IgG
Note: H. pylori Stool Antigen test (recommended test) is available from the Microbiology laboratory.
Inform lab before sending No
Specimen type Clotted blood: 5-10ml blood into a serum (WHITE or MUSTARD CAPPED) container.
Ideal time to take specimen  
Labelling requirements click here
How to take the specimen  
Transport to the laboratory If transport is delayed then store at +4°C
Test Times Weekly
Turnround 5 working days
Additional information  
Additional Examination Requests click here


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