Are there susceptible hosts to Helicobacter pylori infection?

Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl. 1994;205:6-10.


Susceptibility to Helicobacter pylori infection may manifest itself as an increased prevalence of H. pylori infection, as reinfection after eradication, or as different clinical outcomes (gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, primary gastric B-cell lymphoma, or gastric cancer). These outcomes are likely to be a result of interaction between environmental and genetic factors. Genetic factors include both host genetic predisposition to infection as well as genetic differences in H. pylori strains. Twin studies indicate that the correlation coefficient for the relative importance of genetic effects (heritability) on acquisition of H. pylori infection is approximately 0.66. The remaining variance is accounted for by shared rearing environmental factors (20%), and non-shared environmental factors (23%), which contribute to the differences and not the similarities seen between family members. Molecular epidemiological studies of both the whole bacterial genome and of amplified regions between specific repetitive DNA sequences also suggest that there are disease-specific strains of H. pylori. There are, therefore, many different facets of susceptibility to H. pylori infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Helicobacter Infections* / epidemiology
  • Helicobacter Infections* / etiology
  • Helicobacter Infections* / genetics
  • Helicobacter Infections* / physiopathology
  • Helicobacter pylori* / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Recurrence
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stomach Diseases / etiology
  • Stomach Diseases / microbiology
  • Twin Studies as Topic