BACKGROUND & AIMS: Helicobacter pylori attaches to gastric mucosa and grows as a biofilm. This constitutes protection from antimicrobial agents. We assessed the role of a pretreatment with n-acetylcysteine in destroying biofilm and overcoming H pylori antibiotic resistance. METHODS: In an open-label, randomized controlled trial, 40 subjects with a history of at least 4 H pylori eradication failures were evaluated for biofilm presence, antibiotic susceptibility, and H pylori genotypes. Subjects were assigned randomly to receive (group A) or not (group B) n-acetylcysteine before a culture-guided antibiotic regimen. The primary end point was the H pylori eradication rate as assessed by 13Clabeled urea breath testing. RESULTS: H pylori was eradicated in 13 of 20 (both per-protocol and intention-to-treat analyses, 65%; 95% confidence interval, 44%–86%) group A participants and 4 of 20 (both per-protocol and intention-to-treat analyses, 20%; 95% confidence interval, 3%–37%) group B participants (P .01). Biofilms persisted only in unsuccessfully treated participants. H pylori genotypes did not influence treatment outcome. CONCLUSIONS: N-acetylcysteine pretreatment before a culture-guided antibiotic regimen is effective in overcoming H pylori antibiotic resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-820
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • antibiotic treatment
  • biofilm
  • helicobacter pylori


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