Helicobacter pylori infection and current clinical areas of contention

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The indication for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) eradication has been extended to few extragastroduodenal diseases. Scientific rigor needs to be applied as the list of clinical manifestations potentially related to H. pylori has disproportionally grown to its scientific evidence. Some potential beneficial aspects of H. pylori in allergic diseases and in the context of obesity are critically addressed in this review. The main challenge, however, continues to be the prevention of gastric cancer by H. pylori eradication. Strategies for identification of individuals and populations at risk are reported as well. A final aspect is dedicated to novel treatment regimens for overcoming the increasing treatment failures with proton pump inhibitor-based triple standards.

Recent findings

H. pylori infection is associated with some extragastric diseases such as idiopathic thrombocytic purpura and iron deficiency anemia that benefit from eradication therapy. The inverse relation of H. pylori prevalence and the increase in allergies and obesity, as reported from epidemiological studies, has prompted research for elucidating potential underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Strategies for gastric cancer prevention include serological screening, which allow adopting eradication therapy in individuals at high risk. New treatments for H. pylori include sequential, bismuth-based quadruple and nonbismuth-based quadruple therapies.

Summary

The main clinical challenge remains prevention of H. pylori-related diseases by effective treatment and screening procedures.

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