After the discovery of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), and the evidence of its relationship with gastric diseases, antibiotic-based therapies were developed, which efficacy was however limited by antibiotic resistance and lack of patient compliance. A vaccine would overcome these drawbacks, but currently there is not any H. pylori vaccine licensed. In the frame of the studies aimed at finding alternative therapies or at increasing the efficacy of the current ones and/or reducing their side effects, the investigation on the use of probiotics plays an interesting role. In vitro and preclinical studies have shown the feasibility of this approach. Several clinical trials indicated that administration of probiotics can reduce the side effects of H. pylori eradication treatment, increasing tolerability, and often increases the overall efficacy. The results of these trials vary, likely reflecting the variety of probiotics assessed and that of the eradication treatment, as well as the differences in the geographic area that imply different H. pylori strains distribution, host susceptibility, and therapy efficacy. In conclusion, the use of probiotics appears promising as an adjuvant for the current H. pylori eradication treatment, though it still requires optimization.
Keywords: Bifidobacteria; Helicobacter pylori; Lactobacilli; Probiotics; Treatment.