INTRODUCTION: In this study, we evaluated the seroprevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection among chagasic and non-chagasic subjects as well as among the subgroups of chagasic patients with the indeterminate, cardiac, digestive, and cardiodigestive clinical forms. METHODS: The evaluated subjects were from the Triângulo Mineiro region, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Chagasic patients showed positive reactions to the conventional serological tests used and were classified according to the clinical form of their disease. Immunoglobulin G antibodies specific to H. pylori were measured using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. RESULTS: The overall H. pylori prevalence was 77.1% (239/310) in chagasic and 69.1% (168/243) in non-chagasic patients. This difference was statistically significant even after adjustment for age and sex (odds ratio = 1.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-2.42; p = 0.04) in multivariate analysis. The prevalence of infection increased with age in the non-chagasic group (p = 0.007, χ2 for trend), but not in the chagasic group (p = 0.15, χ2 for trend). H. pylori infection was not associated with digestive or other clinical forms of Chagas disease (p = 0.27). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that chagasic patients have a higher prevalence of H. pylori compared to non-chagasic subjects; a similar prevalence was found among the diverse clinical forms of the disease. The factors contributing to the frequent co-infection with H. pylori and Trypanosoma cruzi as well as its effects on the clinical outcome deserve further study.
Helicobacter pylori; Chagas disease; Chronic Chagas disease clinical forms; Co-infection