Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori)
H.pylori is a helix-shaped bacteria accommodated to live in the acidic environment of the human stomach. It is responsible for the development of peptic ulcer disease as well as atrophic gastritis and gastric cancer.
More than half of the world's population is infected; in developing countries the infection is generally acquired early in the childhood, while in developed countries - later during the lifetime. During the population research H.pylori was diagnosed for almost 80% of the population aged 17-99 (average age is 54 years).
Most of the infected individuals (approx. 80%) do not experience any symptoms; yet 1-2% of the people carrying this infection develop gastric cancer later during their lifetime. Therefore, this is important to identify timely the individuals at increased risk.
Therapy regimen containing a combination of drugs (including usually two antibiotics) for 7-14 days is required to eliminate the microorganism, and there is a possibility that the initial treatment may fail.
In addition, there is a risk for adverse events to antibiotic treatment, therefore the candidates for the treatment have to be selected. Therapeutic H.pylori vaccines are under the development, but not yet available.