Ndelo-di-Phanzu J1, Mputu LM1, Ndelo PM1, Nuapia Y1 and Mbendi SN²

1 School of Pharmacy, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

2 Department of Gastroenterology, School of Medicine, University of Kinshasa, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Corresponding author

Josaphat NDELO-di-PHANZU

email: jos_ndelo@yahoo.fr, phone: 00 243810265700

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Introduction. Since a few decades, numerous suspicions of massive criminal poisonings do exist within the population, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The poison in concern, named “Karuho poison”, is supposed from vegetal or animal origin, located principally in the Eastern region of the country, where poisoners are also supposed from. According to popular belief, “Karuho poison” can’t be managed by modern medicine. Traditional practitioners are recognized as the only specialists of Karuho poisoning. Our research work started in 1990. In 2005, further to traditional treatment failure, Karuho patients started coming to the Laboratory of Toxicology of the University of Kinshasa.

Methods. This presentation is based on the retrospective study conducted on data collected on 402 Karuho patients, received at the Laboratory of Toxicology, from January 2005 to June 2016. Variables of interest were: age, gender, address of origin, opinions on Karuho poisoning, toxicological parameters, biological parameters.

Results. In 2010, after 20 years of trying, we surprisingly observed that, blood specimens from “Karuho poisoning” patients were positive to Helicobacter pylori. Symptoms presented by patients, were much diversified, not only digestive but also extra-digestive and even nervous ones, indicating a free and massive passage of Helicobacter pylori toxin to the blood, which has been identified as gas ammonia. Produced in stomach by the reaction urea-urease, linked to Helicobacter pylori, gas ammonia spreads in overall organism by the lungs way and is responsible of all observed pathologies.

Conclusion. Thanks to putative massive criminal poisonings in DR Congo, a new feature of Helicobacter pylori infection is found out, which could be baptized “Helicobacter pylori toxic-infection”, to take into account the serious intoxication caused by gas ammonia. Many implications and lessons on Helicobacter pylori infection have been drawn from this study. Finally, “Karuho phenomenon” current in Democratic Republic of Congo looks like a large opened book, providing the international scientific community with an interesting opportunity to learn more about Helicobacter pylori infection. Strong international collaboration and suitable financial means are needed for that.

Keywords: Helicobacter pylori, Toxic-infection, Gas ammonia, Karuho poisoning, Extradigestive symptoms, Extragastric pathologies, DR Congo.

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