Journal Article

<i>Helicobacter pylori</i> Infection in Desert Storm Troops

David N. Taylor, José L. Sanchez, Bonnie L. Smoak and Robert DeFraites

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 25, issue 5, pages 979-982
Published in print November 1997 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 1997 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/516074
Helicobacter pylori Infection in Desert Storm Troops

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To determine whether military personnel deployed outside the United States are at increased risk of Helicobacter pylori infection, we evaluated U.S. Army personnel who served in the Persian Gulf from August 1990 to April 1991. Of 204 subjects from whom paired predeployment and postdeployment serum specimens were obtained, 76 (37%) were seropositive for IgG antibody to H. pylori before deployment by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Of the 111 initially seronegative subjects evaluated before and after a 7.5-month deployment, five (4.5%) seroconverted. The calculated annual seroconversion rate was 7.3%. In a postdeployment questionnaire, 62% of soldiers reported an episode of diarrhea while deployed, but there was not an increased rate of diarrhea or upper gastrointestinal symptoms in soldiers who were infected before deployment or in those who seroconverted. These data suggest that the risk of H. pylori infection increases during long-term deployment and that acute infection is not distinguishable from other gastrointestinal illnesses encountered during deployment.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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