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Malays J Med Sci. 2015 Sep;22(5):70-75.

Why do we still have Helicobacter Pylori in our Stomachs.

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Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, PO Box 14115-111, Tehran, Iran.
Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 70124 Bari, Italy.
School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.


The existence of any infectious agent in a highly acidic human stomach is contentious, but the chance finding of Helicobacter pylori is by no means an accident. Once H. pylori colonises the gastric mucosa, it can persist for a lifetime, and it is intriguing why our immune system is able to tolerate its existence. Some conditions favour the persistence of H. pylori in the stomach, but other conditions oppose the colonisation of this bacterium. Populations with high and extremely low prevalence of H. pylori provide useful insights on the clinical outcomes that are associated with this type of infection. Adverse clinical outcomes including peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer depend on a delicate balance between a harmless inflammation and a more severe kind of inflammation. Is the only good H. pylori really a dead H. pylori? The jury is still out.


Helicobacter pylori; elimination; gastric cancer; peptic ulcer disease; stomach; survival


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