Noticias HC

Helicobacter pylori infection

helicobacter piloryHelicobacter pylori infection affects millions of people worldwide. Although some people may be asymptomatic carriers, other people experience a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms, from abdominal discomfort to ulcers and, in severe cases, stomach cancer.
Given this reality, a consultation with a specialist in the digestive system is crucial for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

In this article, Dr. Rosales, a digestive system specialist, offers his expert perspective on this disease, addressing its diagnosis and treatment options.

What is Helicobacter pylori?

Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria commonly associated with gastrointestinal disorders, including stomach ulcers and chronic gastritis. Although it has been extensively researched in recent decades, it remains a topic of interest due to its prevalence and its implications for health.
Discovered in 1982 by scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, the bacteria is found in the lining of the stomach and can cause a variety of symptoms, from abdominal discomfort to more serious complications such as peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. It is estimated that about half of the world’s population is infected with H. pylori, although not all develop symptoms.

How is it spread?

LH. pylori infection is usually acquired during childhood, often through exposure to contaminated food or water. Transmission can also occur from person to person through oral-faecal contact or oral-oral contact.

How is the infection diagnosed?

helicobacter pilory
H. pylori is usually detected using a breath test which is highly sensitive and specific for the diagnosis, or by stool analysis, , or biopsy during an endoscopy.
It is important not to have recently been taking antibiotics or proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole and derivatives) so as not to produce false negative results.

How is it treated?

Although H. pylori is associated with gastrointestinal diseases, not all infections require treatment. Some infected people never develop symptoms, and eradication of the bacteria may not be necessary in such cases.
However, the possibility of developing future complications, some of them serious, are recently changing the tendency to treat all those in whom they are detected.
Alternatively, for those with symptomatic chronic ulcers or gastritis, or the need for chronic treatment with aspirin (or derivatives) or anti-inflammatory medication, treatment can be crucial to prevent future complications.
Treatment usually involves a combination of antibiotics and stomach acid-reducing medication, such as proton pump inhibitors, for ten to fourteen days. However, antibiotic resistance is a growing problem and can make effective treatment difficult in some cases.


In short, Helicobacter pylori is a common bacteria which can cause a variety of gastrointestinal problems. . Although its detection and treatment have improved considerably in recent decades, it remains important to understand the health implications and to seek medical attention if related symptoms are experienced.

Dr. José Miguel Rosales Zábal
Dr. José Miguel Rosales Zábal.
Gastroenterology Unit.



April 5, 2024




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