Mobile Site ›

Helicobacter pylori: Overview and Considerations for Diagnostic Testing


Slide 12

August 2010

It is possible to culture Helicobacter pylori from biopsy specimens, although it should be stated that this is not a routine procedure. Culture is not routinely used for initial diagnosis; it is not as sensitive as histology and the rapid urease test. Culture is necessary for susceptibility testing if treatment failure is suspected.

Specific conditions to support the growth of this organism are required. As a rule, growth occurs at:

  • 5 to 7 days if culture plates are held at 37 degrees
  • 5% to 10% oxygen and 5% to 12% carbon dioxide with humidity.

The use of either Brucella agar supplemented with 5% horse blood, or brain heart infusion media with 7% horse blood has been most successful for growth although recovery using Campylobacter, Chocolate, Mueller-Hinton, and Wilkins-Chalgren medias has been reported.

If culture conditions are met, you will see grey, translucent colonies with swarming.

Remember, colonies will be urease, oxidase, and catalase positive. These characteristics, plus a negative hippurate test will distinguish Helicobacter pylori, from another enteric organism, Campylobacter jejuni.



Jump to section: