Current evidence indicates an inverse association between Helicobacter pylori and asthma and allergy. H. pylori is a Gram-negative bacterium which represents the major cause of peptic ulcer and gastric cancer, and preferentially elicits a T helper (Th)-1 response. Many H. pylori factors, such as the neutrophil-activating factor of H. pylori (HP-NAP), are able to drive Th-1 polarization and to display a powerful inhibition of allergic Th-2 response. This article proposes an overview of the actual knowledge about the effects of H. pylori on asthma and allergy. Special attention has been drawn to HP-NAP as a potential novel strategy for the prevention and treatment of asthma and atopy.
Keywords: Helicobacter pylori neutrophil-activating factor; Th-1/Th-2; Treg; asthma; protein.