Canterbury SCL would like to inform referrers that Helicobacter pylori serology will no longer be routinely available from Friday 31 July 2020.
H. pylori serology is a test that measures IgG antibodies specific to H. pylori in serum as evidence of infection at some time. This test is unable to determine if antibodies are present as a result of active or past infection, and so specificity of this test for current infection is poor.
H. pylori serology has been largely replaced by stool antigen testing. Stool antigen testing has superior test performance (sensitivity and specificity), and clinical utility. In addition, H. pylori faecal antigen testing can also be used to confirm eradication following treatment, where a patient has on-going symptoms. The New Zealand Microbiology Network (https://www.nzmn.org.nz/) recommend stool antigen tests as the preferred testing modality for diagnosis of H. pylori infection.
For more information regarding when patients should undergo testing for H. pylori infection, please refer to this BPAC article: https://bpac.org.nz/BT/2014/May/h-pylori.aspx
Any requests for H. pylori serology after the 31 July 2020 will only be performed after discussion with a Canterbury SCL Clinical Microbiologist.