Published online Jan 21, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i3.665
Revised: November 17, 2013
Accepted: December 3, 2013
Published online: January 21, 2014
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a well-known human pathogen that plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and gastric malignancies. Although H. pylori is susceptible to several antimicrobials, this infection has proven challenging to cure because of the increasing prevalence of bacterial strains that are resistant to the most commonly used antimicrobials, particularly clarithromycin. An effective (i.e., > 90%) first-line therapy is mandatory for avoiding supplementary treatments and testing, and more importantly for preventing the development of secondary resistance. This study reviews the recent literature on first-line therapies for H. pylori. The eradication rates following standard triple therapy (a proton pump inhibitor plus amoxicillin and clarithromycin) for H. pylori infection are declining worldwide. Several first-line strategies have been proposed to increase the eradication rate, including extending the treatment duration to 14 d, the use of a four-drug regimen (bismuth-containing quadruple, sequential, and concomitant treatments), and the use of novel antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones. However, the efficacy of these regimens is controversial. A first-line eradication regimen should be based on what works best in a defined geographical area and must take into account the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in that region.
Core tip: First-line therapy for Helicobacter pylori infection should have an efficacy higher than 90% to prevent the need for additional treatment and the emergence of secondary antimicrobial resistance. The first-line eradication regimen should be based on what works best in a defined geographical area and must take into account the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in that region. Non-bismuth quadruple (i.e., concomitant) therapy appears to have high efficacy and, in our opinion, is the first choice of treatment for eradicating the infection.