Helicobacter pylori infection in desert storm troops

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-982
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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