(Determination of local Helicobacter pylori prevalence and antibiotic resistance)

In order to better understand the clinical impact of H. pylori infection in the German adult population, we are conducting a large multi-center observational study, the HelicoPTER study, of 20.000+ adults across Germany.  Adults >/=18 years of age are recruited and tested for active H. pylori infection to determine the prevalence of H. pylori infection in this population.  Participants who test positive for active infection and who are referred for diagnostic gastroscopy based on the current clinical guidelines are recruited for the follow-up study, which will include collection of gastric biopsy samples and long-term clinical follow-up to determine host-specific (immunologic parameters, stool and gastric microbiome, clinical factors, etc.) and pathogen-related (serotype, antibiotic resistance) risk factors for gastric cancer development.  Blood, tissue and stool samples will be obtained at multiple timepoints and will be stored in the associated HEPY Biobank, providing an extensive biobank of specimens and clinical data from which researchers within and outside of our institute may draw upon.  Through this study we aim to not only gain a better understanding of the pathogenesis of H. pylori infection and its association with gastric cancer but to also identify risk factors and biomarkers for disease progression to help guide early treatment and detection strategies.