Long-Term Persistence of Resistant Enterococcus Species after Antibiotics to Eradicate Helicobacter pylori

Maria Sjölund, Karin Wreiber, Dan I. Andersson, Martin J. Blaser, Lars Engstrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Scopus citations


Background: Antibiotic treatment selects for resistance not only in the pathogen to which it is directed but also in the indigenous microflora. Objective: To determine whether a widely used regimen (clarithromycin, metronidazole, and omeprazole) for Helicobacter pylori eradication affects resistance development in enterococci. Design: Cohort study. Setting: Endoscopy units at 3 community hospitals in Sweden. Patients: 5 consecutive dyspeptic patients who were colonized with H. pylori, had endoscopy-confirmed duodenal ulcer, and received antibiotic treatment, and 5 consecutive controls with dyspepsia but no ulcer who did not receive treatment. Measurements: Fecal samples were obtained from patients and controls before, immediately after, 1 year after, and 3 years after treatment. From each patient and sample, enterococci were isolated and analyzed for DNA fingerprint, clarithromycin susceptibility, and presence of the erm(B) gene. Results: In treated patients, all enterococci isolated immediately after treatment showed high-level clarithromycin resistance due to erm(B). In 3 patients, resistant enterococci persisted for 1 to 3 years after treatment. No resistance developed among controls. Conclusion: A common H. pylori treatment selects for highly resistant enterococci that can persist for at least 3 years without further selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-487+I42
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 16 2003
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine

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