Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is one of the most common infections in human beings worldwide. H. pylori express lipopolysaccharides and flagellin that do not activate efficiently Toll-like receptors and express dedicated effectors, such as γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, vacuolating cytotoxin (vacA), arginase, that actively induce tolerogenic signals. In this perspective, H. pylori can be considered as a commensal bacteria belonging to the stomach microbiota. However, when present in the stomach, H. pylori reduce the overall diversity of the gastric microbiota and promote gastric inflammation by inducing Nod1-dependent pro-inflammatory program and by activating neutrophils through the production of a neutrophil activating protein. The maintenance of a chronic inflammation in the gastric mucosa and the direct action of virulence factors (vacA and cytotoxin-associated gene A) confer pro-carcinogenic activities to H. pylori. Hence, H. pylori cannot be considered as symbiotic bacteria but rather as part of the pathobiont. The development of a H. pylori vaccine will bring health benefits for individuals infected with antibiotic resistant H. pylori strains and population of underdeveloped countries.
Keywords: Gastric cancer; Helicobacter pylori; Immune response; Peptic ulcer; Vaccine.