Related topics: bacteria · bacterium

Microbial genetics: A protean pathogen

The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is linked to increased risk of stomach cancer, and is genetically highly variable. A new study by researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich explores the role played by ...

Powering H. pylori pathogenesis

The bacterium Helicobacter pylori colonizes the stomach in half of the world's population and increases the risk of gastric cancer.

How Helicobacter stays helical

Stomach cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death across the globe. One of the main risk factors for this disease is infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. About half of the world's population is ...

A new approach to tackle superbugs

Scientists have uncovered a novel antibiotic-free approach that could help prevent and treat one of the most widespread bacterial pathogens, using nanocapsules made of natural ingredients.

Study shows interactions between bacteria and parasites

A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has completed the first study of the effects of a simultaneous infection with blood flukes (schistosomes) and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori—a fairly common occurrence ...

Signs of selection in the stomach

Helicobacter pylori, a globally distributed gastric bacterium, is genetically highly adaptable. Microbiologists at LMU have now characterized its population structure in individual patients, demonstrating an important role ...

Dietary nanoparticulates impact gut microbiome

The intestinal microbiome is not only key for food processing, but an accepted codeterminant for various diseases. Researchers led by the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) identified effects ...

A new strategy used by Helicobacter pylori to target mitochondria

Scientists from the Institut Pasteur and CNRS have recently identified new strategies used by Helicobacter pylori bacteria to infect cells. By specifically targeting mitochondria, these bacteria, despite being extracellular, ...

Shape-shifting agent targets harmful bacteria in the stomach

A new shape-shifting polymer can target and kill Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach without killing helpful bacteria in the gut. Such a treatment could improve the digestive health of billions of people worldwide ...

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Helicobacter pylori

Helicobacter pylori (pronounced /ˌhɛlɪkɵˈbæktər pɪˈlɔəraɪ/) is a Gram-negative, microaerophilic bacterium that inhabits various areas of the stomach and duodenum. It causes a chronic low-level inflammation of the stomach lining and is strongly linked to the development of duodenal and gastric ulcers and stomach cancer. Over 80% of individuals infected with the bacterium are asymptomatic.

The bacterium was initially named Campylobacter pyloridis, then renamed C. pylori to correct a Latin grammar error. When 16S rRNA gene sequencing and other research showed in 1989 that the bacterium did not belong in the genus Campylobacter, it was placed in its own genus, Helicobacter. The genus derived from the Ancient Greek hělix/έλιξ "spiral" or "coil". The specific epithet pylōri means "of the pylorus" or pyloric valve (the circular opening leading from the stomach into the duodenum), from the Ancient Greek word πυλωρός, which means gatekeeper.

More than 50% of the world's population harbour H. pylori in their upper gastrointestinal tract. Infection is more prevalent in developing countries, although incidence is decreasing in western countries. The route of transmission is unknown, although individuals become infected in childhood. H. pylori's helix shape (from which the generic name is derived) is thought to have evolved to penetrate the mucoid lining of the stomach.

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