Helicobacter Genomic Resources and Analysis Tools

Helicobacter is a genus of Gram-negative bacteria, possessing a characteristic helix shape and are classified under the family of Helicobacteraceae. Some of the Helicobacter species have been found living in the lining of the upper gastrointestinal tract, as well as liver of mammals and some birds. Some strains are pathogenic to humans as they are strongly associated with peptic ulcers, chronic gastritis, duodenitis and stomach cancer.

The most widely known species of the genus is H. pylori, which infects up to 50% of the human population. Over 80% of people that are infected with H. pylori show no symptoms. Acute infection may appear as an acute gastrititis with abdominal pain or nausea. This infection will then develop into chronic gastritis if not treated properly.

Previous study shows that the eradication of H. pylori reduces gastric cancer risk in infected individuals, and this suggests that the continued presence of H. pylori is indeed a risk factor for gastric cancer.

Helicobacterium is contagious. Person-to-person transmission by either oral-oral or fecal-oral route is most likely to be occurred. Helicobacterium are isolated from feces, saliva and dental plaque of some infected people with the consistent transmission routes. Findings suggest that this bacterium is more easily transmitted via gastric mucus than via saliva.

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