Health Matters

Helicobacter pylori infection

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is one of the most common chronic infections across the world. Once infected, H. pylori causes lifelong chronic progressive gastric inflammation.

  • 50%

    of the population may test positive for H. pylori infection worldwide (1)

  • 10%

    of infected individuals have clinical complications (2)

Although the prevalence of H. pylori is decreasing due to improving hygiene and standard of living, it remains high. H. pylori has been classified as a top carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1994 and was listed as a human carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2021.

What is Helicobacter pylori? (2)

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a Gram-negative bacterium that colonizes and persists in the stomach. It can be transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person by direct contact via an oral-oral, fecal-oral, or both routes. Most people become infected during their childhood, and parents and siblings appear to play a significant role in pathogen transmission.

Symptoms (3)

Most people have the bacteria for years without knowing it because they don’t have any symptoms. Experts don’t know why.

You may have redness and swelling (inflammation) in your stomach lining. This is called gastritis.

You may get sores or peptic ulcers in your stomach or the first part of your small intestine (duodenum). Ulcer symptoms may include belly or abdominal pain, which can:

  • Be a dull pain that doesn’t go away
  • Happen 2 to 3 hours after you eat
  • Come and go for several days or weeks
  • Happen in the middle of the night when your stomach is empty
  • Go away when you eat or take medicines that reduce your stomach acid level (antacids)

Other symptoms of an ulcer may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Not feeling hungry
  • Swelling or bloating
  • Burping · Having an upset stomach or nausea · Vomiting

The symptoms of ulcers may look like other health problems.

Complications (2, 4, 5)

The major clinical complications include peptic ulcer disease, chronic gastritis, gastric cancer, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma.

Helicobacter pylori gastritis is an infectious disease responsible for many peptic ulcers and >80% of cases of gastric cancer; it is the third most common cause of cancer death in the world and is associated with several other gastric and extra-gastric diseases. Eradicating H pylori cures gastritis and peptic ulcer disease and has the potential of preventing gastric cancer.

Persistent inflammation of the stomach caused by H. pylori infection can also affect other organs. Recent studies have widely reported the role of H. pylori in the pathogenesis of extra-gastric diseases, including diabetes, acute coronary syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Parkinson’s disease, psoriasis. Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with an increased risk of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). H. pylori eradication treatment can improve IBS symptoms.

Treatment (2, 6)

It should be noted that H. pylori infection generally does not disappear spontaneously and may lead to lifelong infection. Doctors recommend dyspepsia patients under the age of 60 should have a non-invasive test for Helicobacter pylori, and therapy for H. pylori infection if positive.

The eradication of H. pylori infection remains challenging, notably due to increasing bacterial resistance.

How to prevent health burden?

The greatest gift you can give yourself and your loved ones is a healthy you. Take care of your body and focus on living the highest quality of life you can through your daily choices.

At Acino, we have longstanding knowledge which we want to share with you. Explore our materials to raise your awareness, and make decisions to stay healthy and improve your quality of life.

Reduce your risk (7)

There is no clear way to explain how this bacterium is spread, but oral or faecal exposure leading to person-to-person transfer is thought to be the dominant method. Infections are more likely to occur as a result of poor hygiene, insufficient nutrition, and geographical variances.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, practicing good hand washing habits, and using safe food handling techniques can help reduce the incidence of H. pylori infections.

Consumption of contaminated food and water is also associated with the transmission of this pathogen. Additionally, there has been a concerning rise in antibiotic-resistant strains of H. pylori. Please follow these 7 steps to prevent antimicrobial resistance and visit our educational page to learn more about infectious diseases:

  1. Take antimicrobial medicines only when prescribed.
  2. Use antimicrobial as directed by your healthcare professional.
  3. Do not skip doses as prescribed by your treating physician to preserve the effectiveness of the medicine.
  4. Complete your full course of prescribed treatment even if you feel better.
  5. Do not save antimicrobials for the next time you get sick.
  6. Never take a medicine prescribed for someone else.
  7. Do not take antibiotics for a virus; they are only effective against infections caused by bacteria.


When to see a doctor?

Early detection, adequate follow-up, and alternative treatments are necessary.

If you have concerns about being infected by H. Pyolri or any other health issues, always see your healthcare provider to be sure.

Last update: 15 May 2024

1. Liu L, Li F, Shi H, Nahata MC. The Efficacy and Safety of Vonoprazan and Amoxicillin Dual Therapy for Helicobacter pylori Infection: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis. Antibiotics (Basel). 2023 Feb 7;12(2):346. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics12020346. PMID: 36830257; PMCID: PMC9952735. Available at: Accessed 15.05.2024
2. Hasanuzzaman M, Bang CS, Gong EJ. Antibiotic Resistance of Helicobacter pylori: Mechanisms and Clinical Implications. J Korean Med Sci. 2024 Jan 29;39(4):e44. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2024.39.e44. PMID: 38288543; PMCID: PMC10825452. Available at: Accessed 15.05.2024
3. Helicobacter pylori. (2023, May 9). Johns Hopkins Medicine. Available at Accessed 03.05.2024
4. Fallone CA, Moss SF, Malfertheiner P. Reconciliation of Recent Helicobacter pylori Treatment Guidelines in a Time of Increasing Resistance to Antibiotics. Gastroenterology. 2019 Jul;157(1):44-53. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2019.04.011. Epub 2019 Apr 15. PMID: 30998990. Available at: Accessed 15.05.20244.
5. Chunmei Wang, Yue Yin, Le Wang, Xiaozhong Guo, Lu Liu, Xingshun Qi, Association between Helicobacter pylori infection and irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Postgraduate Medical Journal, Volume 99, Issue 1169, March 2023, Available at: Pages 166–175, Accessed 15.05.2024
6. Moayyedi P, Lacy BE, Andrews CN, Enns RA, Howden CW, Vakil N. ACG and CAG Clinical Guideline: Management of Dyspepsia. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017 Jul;112(7):988-1013. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2017.154. Epub 2017 Jun 20. Erratum in: Am J Gastroenterol. 2017 Sep;112(9):1484. PMID: 28631728Available at: Accessed 15.05.2024
7. Elbehiry A, Marzouk E, Aldubaib M, Abalkhail A, Anagreyyah S, Anajirih N, Almuzaini AM, Rawway M, Alfadhel A, Draz A, et al. Helicobacter pylori Infection: Current Status and Future Prospects on Diagnostic, Therapeutic and Control Challenges. Antibiotics. 2023; 12(2):191. Available at: Accessed 15.05.2024

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