Pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori infection

Helicobacter. 2016 Sep;21 Suppl 1:19-25. doi: 10.1111/hel.12335.


Helicobacter pylori is estimated to infect more than half of the worlds human population and represents a major risk factor for chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, MALT lymphoma, and gastric adenocarcinoma. H. pylori infection and clinical consequences are controlled by highly complex interactions between the host, colonizing bacteria, and environmental parameters. Important bacterial determinants linked with gastric disease development include the cag pathogenicity island encoding a type IV secretion system (T4SS), the translocated effector protein CagA, vacuolating cytotoxin VacA, adhesin BabA, urease, serine protease HtrA, secreted outer membrane vesicles, and many others. The high quantity of these factors and allelic changes in the corresponding genes reveals a sophisticated picture and problems in evaluating the impact of each distinct component. Extensive work has been performed to pinpoint molecular processes related to H. pylori-triggered pathogenesis using Mongolian gerbils, mice, primary tissues, as well as novel in vitro model systems such as gastroids. The manipulation of host signaling cascades by the bacterium appears to be crucial for inducing pathogenic downstream activities and gastric disease progression. Here, we review the most recent advances in this important research area.

Keywords: CagA; CagL; HtrA; TlpB; VacA; gastric cancer; gastroids; inflammation; pathogenicity island; signaling; type IV secretion system; urease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Research / trends
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Helicobacter Infections / pathology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / physiopathology*
  • Helicobacter pylori / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Virulence Factors / genetics
  • Virulence Factors / metabolism*


  • Virulence Factors