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There is ongoing debate in the literature about which is the best test to request for the detection of infection with Helicobacter
pylori. The most appropriate test is influenced by several factors, such as the pre-test probability of H.pylori infection
(reflected by prevalence), the patient’s specific clinical circumstances and the cost and availability of the test.1 In
New Zealand, like many other countries, the advice has changed over recent years, however, the current thinking is that the H.
pylori faecal antigen test is now the preferred option in patients who require investigation for H. pylori (see:
“The New Zealand Schedule and Test Guidelines update). Infection with H. pylori is known to increase
the risk of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer due to chronic inflammation and atrophy of the stomach mucosa.2