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Editor,—The article in the November issue of theArchives on the association between sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and H pyloriinfection is confusing.1 I am very familiar withH pylori colonisation in gastric biopsies in children and its association with gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric cancer. However, the implication that the organism can cause an unexpected infant death—that is, SIDS, is shocking!
Unexplained infant deaths (SIDS) are “fertile soil” for speculators that apply new technology—polymerase chain reaction (PCR)—to uncover new associations. Unfortunately, these observations are not based on an infrastructure of knowledge of the causes of infant mortality. Caution needs to be exercised when applying PCR technology to postmortem tissue and “discovering” an answer. The possibility of contamination is real, and in addition infants can die with something, and not of it.
I would value a response from Drs Fleming, Blair, Bacon, and Berry who co-authored the CESDI study of SUDI.
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