HTLV-I infection and the low prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection in Japan

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HTLV-I retrovirus infection and Helicobacter pylori infection are common in Japan; however a report in this issue shows a significantly low prevalence of H. pylori in patients infected with HTLV-I. The reasons for this may be due to differences in genetic susceptibility of the infections, the gastric milieu in HTLV-I being unable to support H. pylori, or because antimicrobial therapy in HTLV-I infection has eradicated H. pylori in this susceptible population. Similarities between HIV-1, another retroviral infection, and the prevalence of H. pylori are noted.

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