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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Biopsy forceps disinfection technique does not influence Helicobacter pylori culture.

OBJECTIVES: Culturing Helicobacter pylori (Hp) has a low sensitivity rate, and is affected by factors such as the number of biopsies, transport, and culture conditions. Hp detection is also influenced by omeprazole, antibiotics, bismuth salts, or benzocaine use. Disinfection procedures based on glutaraldehyde are highly effective in eliminating any Hp contamination of endoscopic equipment. However, the possibility that some residual glutaraldehyde present in biopsy forceps after decontamination could affect Hp viability has not yet been investigated. METHODS: Antral specimens from 25 patients with active gastric or duodenal ulcer obtained with three forceps (sterilized with ethylene oxide, glutaraldehyde, or glutaraldehyde-phenolate) were streaked on appropriate media, and results of culture evaluated. RESULTS: Helicobacter pylori was isolated in 17 patients. Positivity of culture was independent of the way the forceps were sterilized, and the number of colonies (mean +/- SD) was similar for the three types of forceps (475 +/- 312, 533 +/- 242, and 550 +/- 225 colony-forming units [CFUs] for ethylene oxide, glutaraldehyde, and glutaraldehyde-phenolate, respectively). Moreover, the incubation time since isolation was also similar (6.0 +/- 1.3, 5.8 +/- 1.2, and 5.7 +/- 1.2 days for ethylene oxide, glutaraldehyde, and glutaraldehyde-phenolate disinfected forceps, respectively). CONCLUSION: The use of glutaraldehyde to sterilize biopsy forceps is not responsible for the false-negative results of Hp culture.[1]


  1. Biopsy forceps disinfection technique does not influence Helicobacter pylori culture. Elizalde, J.I., Gómez, J., Ginès, A., Llach, J., Piqué, J.M., Bordas, J.M., Marco, F., Terés, J. Am. J. Gastroenterol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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