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Helicobacter Pylori Live in the Digestive System of Humans

Updated on January 1, 2013

What is H. Pylori

H. Pylori is a small bacterium that exists in the stomach and duodenum of people who have the bacteria present in their gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria was first discovered by two doctors from Perth, Western Australia nearly 25 years ago. Their names are Dr. Barry J. Marshall and Dr. J. Robin Warren. The two doctors discovered the bacteria in the stomachs of patients with gastritis and stomach ulcers. Before the doctors made their discovery, it was believed that no bacteria could ever live in the stomach, because of it's strong acid content. Obviously the H. Pylori bacteria could live in the stomach and duodenum. The bacteria had it's own defenses against the stomach acid that was so strong.

H. Pylori

H. Pylori lives in the digestive tract of some humans
H. Pylori lives in the digestive tract of some humans | Source

H. Pylori Defenses

The H. Pylori bacteria protect themselves with an enzyme, which keeps the stomach's acid from killing them. The immune system sends white blood cells, killer T cells, and other defenders of the body to fight the infection caused by the H. Pylori bacteria. The H. Pylori like to live in the lining of the stomach where they are protected against the body's own defense mechanisms.

In time the H. Pylori bacteria can damage the stomach lining and cause illness. The bacteria can cause gastritis, ulcers, and eventually cancer if not treated. The immune system's defenses can not go through the stomach lining easily, so then they can not get to the bacteria. The immune system does not give up the fight. The immune system adds many more defenders to defend the human body against the H. Pylori bacteria. It would be like an all out war for the immune system and all of it's agents against the H. Pylori bacteria. But, in time gastritis, ulcers, and eventually cancer may result.

H. Pylori Video

How H. Pylori is Transmitted

H. Pylori can be transmitted orally. The H. Pylori infection usually starts in childhood and infects a large population of the world. H. Pylori can be treated and there are tests that can be taken to find out if the bacteria is present in the stomach and duodenum. H. Pylori is a pathogen that can cause diseases in the gastro-intestional tract, including gastritis, peptic ulcers, and even cancer. The H. Pylori bacteria can cause infections in animals, as well as humans. The H. Pylori bacteria can cause cancer, so then it is a carcinogen-a cancer causing agent. Most people that have the H. Pylori bacteria show little or no symptoms, but have gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach and other gastro-intestional complaints. H. Pylori can be transmitted orally through unsanitary conditions, unclean water and waste products in the water supply, especially in underdeveloped third world countries where the sanitation is inadequate and not up to the standards that they need to be. A pathogen is a disease causing agent and a carcinogen is a cancer causing agent.

H. Pylori-Mayo Clinic

H. Pylori

H. Pylori does not sound good. It has been said that some bacteria are beneficial, but H. Pylori is not one of them. H. Pylori can cause a lot of problems like peptic ulcers and even cancer. If anyone thinks they may have the H. Pylori bacteria in their digestive tract, there are tests that can find out if they do have this bacteria. The H. Pylori bacteria can be treated with the help of a doctor.


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    • gail641 profile image

      Gail Louise Stevenson 6 years ago from Mason City

      Your welcome. I thought that H. Pylori was interesting, too. Thank you, too.

    • HendrikDB profile image

      HendrikDB 6 years ago

      Interesting! Thanks!