Four strains of Helicobacter pylori were subjected to an in vitro serial passage technique to compare the propensity of the organisms to develop resistance to seven classes of antibacterial agents. The passages were made on serially doubling concentrations of antibacterial agents incorporated into agar starting at one-half the base-line MIC. The frequency of spontaneous resistance was also determined for each strain at four and eight times the MIC of each antibacterial agent. Strains resistant to ciprofloxacin, metronidazole, erythromycin, and tobramycin were isolated. The experiments failed to select organisms resistant to bismuth subsalicylate, furazolidone, or amoxicillin, although the MIC of amoxicillin was increased 4- to 16-fold. With the exception of erythromycin, organisms with the selected resistance were stable after at least three passages on antibacterial agent-free medium. Spontaneous resistance rates were generally of a low magnitude and were not predictive of the serial passage results
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