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Helicobacter pylori Culture and Sensitivities



Gastric biopsies

Specimen container

Portagerm pylori transport media (from BioMérieux)

Specimen Collection

Pre- procedure

Ensure the patient has a treatment free interval before biopsy: at least 2 weeks off PPI and 4 weeks off antibiotics.

Book the endoscopy on a morning list at the beginning or in the middle of the week (avoid Fridays).

Please contact the Microbiology Department by phone (x2962) or alternatively by email (rduh.microconsultants@nhs.net) to order in the special transport media – the turnaround time for this is usually 1-2 weeks. Once it has arrived, this can be stored at normal fridge temperature (2 to 8oC) in the endoscopy department fridge.

Day of the procedure

Perform multiple gastric biopsies (5-6); at least 2 from the antrum and 2 from the anterior and posterior corpus respectively. Larger volumes increase the yield.

All microbiology specimens should be taken with sterile forceps before the histology specimens are taken to reduce risk of contamination.

Place each biopsy specimen in a separate Portagerm pylori vial – do not pool biopsy specimens in the same vial.

If Portagerm pylori is not available, send the samples it in a universal sterile container with a couple of ml of normal saline (enough that the specimen does not dry out but not so it is fully immersed). Again, use a separate container for each biopsy specimen.

To Request On EPIC

For electronic requesting using EPIC (RDUH ONLY):

Search for: ‘Helicobacter Detection (In Gastric Biopsy)‘ or test code ‘LAB9233

To order using Epic OpTime (RDUH ONLY):

Go into the ‘Specimens’ tab -> entering ‘gastric biopsy’ as the source -> selecting the test ‘Helicobacter Detection (In Gastric Biopsy)’. Please unselect histology; if histology is required this needs to be requested on a separate specimen as the sample will go to a different performing laboratory.

Test Usage

H. pylori culture and sensitivities to direct antibiotic treatment of refractory H. pylori infection


Samples are sent to the Gastrointestinal Bacteria Reference Unit (GBRU)

Processing Time

Approximately 1-2 weeks

Urgent Specimen Instructions

All specimens need to be sent urgently to the GBRU by courier.

Please contact the Microbiology Department by phone (x2962) or alternatively by email (rduh.microconsultants@nhs.net) once specimens are on the way to the laboratory so a courier can be arranged.

Please make sure specimens reach the lab by 16:00 at the latest so that they can be sent the same day.

(Sounds Like: h-pylori, h polyri, heliobacter)

Specimen Labelling Procedure
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