Medline and PubMed databases were searched on epidemiology of Helicobacter pylori for the period of April 2013-March 2014. Several studies have shown that the prevalence of H. pylori is still high in most countries. In north European and North American populations, about one-third of adults are still infected, whereas in south and east Europe, South America, and Asia, the prevalence of H. pylori is often higher than 50%. H. pylori remains highly prevalent in immigrants coming from countries with high prevalence of H. pylori. However, the lower prevalence of infection in the younger generations suggests a further decline of H. pylori prevalence in the coming decades. Low socioeconomic conditions in childhood are confirmed to be the most important risk factors for H. pylori infection. Although the way the infection is transmitted is still unclear, interpersonal transmission appears to be the main route. Finally, H. pylori recurrence after successful eradication can still occur, but seems to be an infrequent event.
Keywords: Helicobacter pylori; Prevalence; risk factors; transmission.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.