Why can't we make an effective vaccine againstHelicobacter pylori?

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Helicobacter pylori is a major human pathogen that colonizes the stomach and is the lead etiological agent for several pathologies. An effective vaccine against these bacteria would be invaluable for protecting against gastric adenocarcinoma. However, the development of such a vaccine has stalled and the field has progressed little in the last decade. In this review, the authors provide an opinion on key problems that are preventing the development of a H. pylori vaccine. Primarily, this involves the inability to produce a completely protective immune response. The knock-on effects of this include a loss of industry investment. Overcoming these problems will likely involve defeating the immune-evasion defenses of H. pylori, in particular the mechanism(s) by which it evades antibody-mediated attack.

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