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Recent advances in Helicobacter pylori pathogenesis

Sibony, Michala,b,c; Jones, Nicola L.a,b

Current Opinion in Gastroenterology: January 2012 - Volume 28 - Issue 1 - p 30–35
doi: 10.1097/MOG.0b013e32834dda51

Purpose of review Helicobacter pylori is implicated in numerous gastric pathologies; however, the prevalence of infection is declining in developed countries. Therefore, it is important to understand the complex mechanism of its interaction with the host and how the changing epidemiology of infection may impact on disease. In this review, we systemically revisit the major novel discoveries of the last year relating to H. pylori disease pathogenesis.

Recent findings Novel pathways have been implicated in H. pylori cytotoxin-associated gene (CagA) mediated carcinogenesis, highlighting the aberrant regulation of proliferation and apoptosis. Furthermore, the human microbiome was implicated as having a key role in H. pylori-related disease development. Several studies have begun to delineate the mechanisms behind the epidemiologically inverse correlation of H. pylori infection with asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.

Summary The recent findings enable researchers to focus on novel and previously unsuspected mechanisms in the development of disease, and prompt further research into possible therapeutic approaches. The potential beneficial aspects of H. pylori colonization and the role bacterial flora play in promoting disease have yet to be elucidated, but promise to have a great impact on patient care.

aDivision of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Departments of Paediatrics and Physiology, University of Toronto

bCell Biology Program, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children

cZane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases, IBD Group, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence to Dr Nicola L. Jones, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Hospital for Sick Children, 555, University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G1X8, Canada. Tel: +1 416 813 7072; e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.