Helicobacter pylori, previously Campylobacter pylori, is a gram-negative, microaerophilic bacterium found usually in the stomach. It was identified in 1982 by Australian scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, who found that it was present in a person with chronic gastritis and gastric ulcers, conditions not previously believed to have a microbial cause. It is also linked to the development of duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer. However, over 80% of individuals infected with the bacterium area symptomatic, and it may play an important role in the natural stomach ecology.
More than 50% of the world's population harbor H. pylori in their upper gastrointestinal tract. Infection is more prevalent in developing countries, and incidence is decreasing in Western countries. H. pylori's helical shape (from which the genus name is derived) is thought to have evolved to penetrate the mucoid lining of the stomach.
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Bashinskaya b, nahed bv, redjal n, kahle kt, walcott bp. Trends in peptic ulcer disease and the identification of helicobacter pylori as a causative organism: population-based estimates from the us nationwide inpatient sample. J global infect dis [serial online] 2011 [cited 2016 jun 10];3:366-70. Available from: http://www.jgid.org/text.asp?2011/3/4/366/91061