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Gastroenterology. 1997 Dec;113(6 Suppl):S15-20.

What are the host factors that place an individual at risk for Helicobacter pylori-associated disease?

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Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA.


Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with duodenal and gastric ulcer disease, gastric cancer, and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. Although more than half the world's population harbors H. pylori, only a proportion will develop clinically significant disease. The specific clinical outcome of an individual can be examined as the modulation of host factors by H. pylori infection. Host acid-secretory status and sensitivity to gastrin can be modulated by H. pylori infection. Once H. pylori has established itself in the stomach, virtually everyone develops gastritis, and variations in gastritis patterns have been associated with different gastric acid responses to H. pylori infection. The patterns of gastritis are important because they seem to determine disease outcome. Blood group antigens have been implicated in studies of ulcer disease. Receptors to Lewis antigens in gastric mucosa indicate that host mucosal factors influence H. pylori attachment. Conversely, H. pylori strains express Lewis antigen-like molecules, suggesting an autoimmune component for some H. pylori-associated diseases. HLA genotypes may influence the host response to H. pylori infection, and those of H. pylori-infected individuals have been correlated with histological features. The clinical outcome of H. pylori infection is most likely a result of complex interactions among host, bacterial, and environmental factors. The mechanisms by which these diverse factors influence the pathogenesis of different clinical outcomes remain under investigation.

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