Gastric biopsy for Helicobacter pylori (HP)




  • DO NOT test within at least 4 weeks of antibiotics as these drugs suppress bacteria and may lead to false negatives
  • Faecal antigen testing is not currently performed by the laboratory
  • Urea breath tests can be prescribed see BNF 1.3.1
  • See also Helicobacter pylori antibodies

Sample requirements

Biopsy samples should be placed into small bottles of sterile saline to prevent dessication 

Required information

  • Previous HP therapy


Samples should be transported to the laboratory with minimal delay.  Refrigerate samples if transport is delayed.

Turnaround time

Positive urease broth tests reported at 24 hours

Standard culture up to 7 days

Sensitivity test results may take considerably longer

Page last reviewed: 21/05/2014