Primary antibiotic resistance in Helicobacter pylori in the Asia-Pacific region: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Elsevier, The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Volume 2, No. 10, p707–715, October 2017
Yu-Ting Kuo, Jyh-Ming Liou, Emad M El-Omar, Jeng-Yih Wu, Alex Hwong Ruey Leow, Khean Lee Goh, Rajashree Das, Hong Lu, Jaw-Town Lin, Yu-Kang Tu, Yoshio Yamaoka, Ming-Shiang Wu



So far, a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis has not been done of the prevalence of primary antibiotic resistance in Helicobacter pylori in the Asia-Pacific region. We aimed to assess the trends and regional differences in primary antibiotic resistance to H pylori in the Asia-Pacific region and to examine the relation between resistance and first-line eradication.


We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of primary antibiotic resistance to H pylori and the efficacy of first-line regimens in the Asia-Pacific region. We searched PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library for articles published between Jan 1, 1990, and Sept 30, 2016; we also searched abstracts from international conferences. Both observational studies and randomised controlled trials were eligible for inclusion in the analysis of primary antibiotic resistance, but only randomised controlled trials were eligible for inclusion in the analysis of efficacy of first-line therapies. Meta-analysis was by the random-effects model to account for the substantial variations in resistance across the region. We did subgroup analyses by country and study period (ie, before 2000, 2001–05, 2006–10, and 2011–15) to establish country-specific prevalences of primary antibiotic resistance and first-line eradication rates. This study is registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42017057905.


176 articles from 24 countries were included in our analysis of antibiotic resistance. The overall mean prevalences of primary H pylori resistance were 17% (95% CI 15–18) for clarithromycin, 44% (95% CI 39–48) for metronidazole, 18% (95% CI 15–22) for levofloxacin, 3% (95% CI 2–5) for amoxicillin, and 4% (95% CI 2–5) for tetracycline. Prevalence of resistance to clarithromycin and levofloxacin rose significantly over time during the period investigated, whereas resistance to other antibiotics remained stable. 170 articles from 16 countries were included in analysis of efficacy of first-line therapies. We noted unsatisfactory efficacy (ie, <80%) with clarithromycin-containing regimens in countries where the clarithromycin resistance rates were higher than 20%.


The prevalence of primary antibiotic resistance varied greatly among countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and thus treatment strategy should be adapted relative to country-specific resistance patterns. Clarithromycin-containing regimens should be avoided in countries where the prevalence of clarithromycin resistance is higher than 20%.


Ministry of Health and Welfare of Taiwan, Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan, and Amity University.