Assessment of a single serum sample for Helicobacter pylori antibodies is frequently requested in routine diagnostic laboratories. Current enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits are not ideal for testing small numbers of serum samples and some have low sensitivities, specificities or large grey zones. A panel of 90 serum samples from patients who had presented for routine upper endoscopy was used to compare three kits for the detection of H pylori antibodies: (1) Pyloriset Dry, total antibody latex agglutination, Orion Diagnostica, Espoo, Finland; (2) Pyloriset enzyme immunoassay (EIA), IgG ELISA, Orion; and (3) Hel-p, IgG ELISA, Amrad, Kew, Victoria, Australia. Diagnosis of H pylori positivity was made if culture results and either rapid urease test or histopathology were positive. The sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive value for each test was as follows: Orion: latex 93.3%, 95.6%, 95.5%, 93.3%, respectively; Orion: EIA-G 84.4%, 97.8%, 97.4%, 84.4%, respectively; and Amrad: EIA-G 100%, 88.9%, 90%, 100%, respectively. The latex test performed better than the EIAs with respect to sensitivity and specificity.
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