What is H. Pylori?


 In 2005, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to scientists from Australia Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren for their discovery of “the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease“.

They made the remarkable and unexpected discovery that inflammation in the stomach (gastritis) as well as peptic ulcer disease is the result of an infection of the stomach caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. It is now firmly established that Helicobacter pylori causes more than 80% of gastric ulcers. Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) is a spiral-shaped bacterium that colonizes the stomach in about two thirds of all humans. It produces an enzyme called urease which neutralizes stomach acid. The reduction in stomach acidity allows H. pylori to continue living in what would otherwise be too harsh an environment. H. pylori is a common infection, responsible for a variety of gastric pathologies. In most individuals Helicobacter pylori infection is asymptomatic. However, about 10-15% of infected individuals will experience peptic ulcer disease.

H. Pylori is most associated with stomach ulcers, also identified potential associations with other conditions, including:

  • Gastric conditions including gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), acid reflux, dyspepsia, stomach ulcers and stomach cancer.

  • Neurodegenerative diseases - Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

  • Skin disorders – rosacea, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis.

  • Anemia - H. Pylori impairs iron and other minerals absorption (from lack of acidity in the stomach.)

  • Autoimmune disorders - sclerosis.


  • Stomach pain

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Sore throat

  • Indigestion

  • Dark or tarry stools

  • Diarrhea

  • Coughing

  • Uncomfortable fullness after eating. 

  • Decreased or loss of appetite.


It is thought to spread through contaminated food and water, or through direct mouth-to-mouth contact.