Symptoms And Treatment Helicobacter Pylori Infection

1470 words - 6 pages

For over a century now it has been known that there are bacteria present in the human stomach. However, these bacteria were considered to be contaminants from digested food, rather than real GI colonizers. About three decades ago, Robin Warren and Barry Marshall announced the successful culture and isolation of a spiral bacterial species, firstly named Campylobacter pyloridis because of structural similarities to other Campylobacter species. Later, because of its functional and enzymatic properties, it was named Helicobacter pylori. H. pylori hosts the mucus layer which coats the inside of the human stomach. It is a gram-negative bacterium, with length in the range from 2 to 4 μm and width ...view middle of the document...

9 to 8.0. Colonies have a convex, circular (1–2 mm), and translucent appearance (Fig. 1) and are surrounded by some hemolysis in blood agar. Presence of typical colonies, Gram staining, and positive tests for urease, catalase, and oxidase are typical methods of identification of H. pylori. (Bier & Miliotis 2013, p.211)
H. pylori is found in feces, sewage and water, but in water it is killed by standard chlorination. Hence, consuming of sewage-contaminated drinking water or vegetables might be a risk in developing countries. Vice versa, well cooked food and chlorinated water lowers the risk of humans infected with H. pylori. The consumption of raw vegetables with human feces fertilizer used has been found to be an infection risk factor, and children were found exposed to infection when drinking water from a municipal supply. (Hererra 2004) (Appendix 1)
No specific recommendations for evading infection have been made. Washing hands is commonly wise, and also eating properly prepared food and drinking water from safe origin.

This infection is most often acquired in childhood. It remains unknown how this pathogen is transmitted or why some people experience symptoms and others do not. Signs and symptoms may be the following:
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Dark or tar-colored stools
• Abdominal pain
• Heartburn
• Diarrhea
• Hunger in the morning
• Halitosis (Crowe, Feldman & Grover 2013)
H. pylori can be detected by several tests. In an infected person’s stomach, H. pylori is the sole organism expressing urease: so by spotting urease in a biopsy specimen, H. pylori can be indirectly detected. It is not common that food and feces are tested for H. pylori. When tested, detection and isolation of the pathogen can be obscured by a lot of factors, causing incorrect negative results. Moreover, the infection’s incubation time may be too long for a connection between the suspected clinical disease and the source of infection to be made. (Legge 2000)

Most people infected go through life with progressive destruction of their stomach without having symptoms. Ten to twenty percent of them experience peptic (duodenal or gastric) ulcer and roughly
1-3% will experience stomach cancer. (Figure 4). H. pylori may also be a cause of non-ulcer dyspepsia. (Appendix 2)

Figure 4: The potential outcomes of Helicobacter pylori infection. (p. 9)

Significant outbreaks have not been reported, mainly because in most cases the pathogen as a host does not provide symptoms or diseases. (Appendix 3)

H. pylori is killed by certain antibiotics. (Appendix 4)
An optimum nutrition based diet show that genetic sensitivity to H. pylori can be altered and there is increasing scientific proof to show that such diet helps in the prevention of infection with the bacteria and moreover protects those infected from disease consequences....

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