High frequency of Helicobacter pylori DNA in drinking water in Kermanshah, Iran, during June–November 2012

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To gain a better understanding of transmission and selecting appropriate measures for preventing the spread of Helicobacter pylori, the aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of H. pylori in drinking water samples in Kermanshah, Iran. Drinking water samples were collected from around Kermanshah and filtered through 0.45 μm nitrocellulose filters. The bacterial sediment was subjected to DNA extraction and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for H. pylori detection using newly designed primers targeted at the conserved region of the ureC gene. The overall detection rates for H. pylori DNA in the water samples were 56% (66/118) with a frequency of 36% (25/70) in tap water samples and 85% (41/48) in wells. The detection limit was 50 bacteria per liter of filtered water and a pure H. pylori DNA copy number of 6 per reaction. Based on the evidence we may suggest that recontamination occurred and H. pylori entered into the water piping system through cracked or broken pipes or was released from established H. pylori biofilms on pipes. In conclusion, a high prevalence of H. pylori was detected in drinking water samples that strengthens the evidence of H. pylori transmission through drinking water.

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