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Microbes Infect. 2003 Jul;5(8):705-13.

Helicobacter in the developing world.

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Enteric Disease Research Program, US Naval Medical Research Unit #3, Cairo, Egypt.


Helicobacter pylori in the developing world is associated with many unique challenges not encountered in an industrialized setting. The 20% prevalence of infection with H. pylori among adolescents in the United States pales in comparison to infection rates exceeding 90% by 5 years of age in parts of the developing world. While H. pylori within the developed world is associated with gastritis, which may lead to peptic ulcer and gastric carcinoma, the infection in the developing world appears to also be linked with chronic diarrhea, malnutrition and growth faltering as well as predisposition to other enteric infections, including typhoid fever and cholera. Once identified, treatment of H. pylori within the developing world presents increased difficulties due to the frequency of antibiotic resistance as well as the frequency of recurrence after successful treatment. Control, and possibly eradication, of H. pylori could likely be achieved through increased standards of living and improved public health, as it has in the industrialized world. However, these measures are distant objectives for most developing countries, making long-term control of the organism dependent on the development and administration of an effective vaccine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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