Rifabutin triple therapy for first-line and rescue treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Rachel Gingold-Belfer, Yaron Niv, Zohar Levi, Doron Boltin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background and Aim: Due to the increasing resistance of Helicobacter pylori, there is a need for novel antibiotic treatment protocols. We aimed to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis in order to determine the effectiveness and safety of rifabutin triple therapy for H. pylori infection. Methods: We performed a systematic review of prospective clinical trials with a treatment arm consisting of proton pump inhibitor, amoxicillin, and rifabutin and a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Results: Thirty-three prospective studies including 44 datasets were identified. Meta-analysis of four RCTs for rescue treatment found no difference between treatment groups (odds ratio [OR] 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.437–1.791, I2 = 68.1%, P = 0.733). Only one RCT compared rifabutin therapy with control for first-line treatment of H. pylori infection (OR 3.78, 95% CI 2.44–5.87, P < 0.0001). Treatment was more likely to be successful in Asian versus non-Asian populations (81.0% vs 72.4%, P = 0.001) and when daily amoxicillin dose was ≥ 3000 mg or proton pump inhibitor dose was ≥ 80 mg or treatment duration was 14 days (80.6% vs 66.0%, P = 0.0001). The overall event rate for adverse effects was 24.8% (729/2937) (95% CI 0.23–0.26), and the pooled OR for adverse effects in the treatment versus control group was 0.93 (95% CI 0.50–1.75) (I2 = 79.76, P = 0.82). Conclusion: Evidence for the effectiveness of rifabutin for the first-line treatment of H. pylori infection in adults is limited, and studies comparing rifabutin with conventional first-line treatments are lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1392-1402
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Amoxicillin
  • Eradication
  • H. pylori
  • Meta-analysis
  • Rifabutin


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