Comprehensive characterisation of resistance mechanisms for the accurate detection of Helicobacter pylori antimicrobial resistance

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is a public health issue. It remains one of the most common infections in adults in Ireland and is associated with significant disease as the main cause of stomach ulcers and stomach cancers. Despite significant work resulting in a better understanding of this bacterium (germ) and how it interacts with the human body, there has been an increase in treatment failure using standard therapies, which include a drug that controls stomach acid and two to three antibiotics that target the bacterium. Antibiotic resistance is one of the main reasons for H. pylori treatment failure.

International medical guidelines recommend that the choice of antibiotics used to treat H. pylori in a given population is based on the pattern of antibiotic resistance in that region. However, traditional methods to grow H. pylori in the laboratory to perform these tests are time-consuming, often unsuccessful and are not routinely carried out in most hospitals. More recently developed diagnostic methods that analyse H. pylori DNA directly from stomach tissue samples have been suggested to replace the challenging methods involving H. pylori growth. However, these new methods do not detect all of the mechanisms that lead to H. pylori antibiotic resistance. Building on the team’s experience in H. pylori research at Tallaght University Hospital, this project plans to investigate the role of new antibiotic resistance pathways in H. pylori infection in order to provide more accurate options for the diagnosis of resistant infection and improvement of treatment success rates.

Award Date
01 July 2022
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Sinead Smith
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Investigator Led Projects