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Helicobacter pyloriis an important human pathogen and persistent colonization of the human gastric mucosa can cause severe gastrointestinal diseases. The bacterium should not be considered as a uniform organism, but as a population of closely related and yet genetically diverse bacteria. Several genes ofH. pylori(such as vacA and cagA) have been identified as being virulence-associated and may have important clinical and epidemiological implications. Assessment of virulence-associated genes ofH. pylorishould be included in clinical and epidemiological studies as well as therapeutic trials, in order to stratify between patient groups, harboringH. pyloristrains with particular virulence genotypes. Molecular determination of antibiotic resistance will be especially useful for treatment studies. Together with our increasing knowledge about the human genome, typing ofH. pyloriwill facilitate the management of gastroenterological pathologies.