Helicobacter pylori (formerly named Campylobacter pylori) is a gram negative S shaped or spiral bacillus, described as a Unipolar flagellate, 1 by 3 micrometres in size. It is a microaerophilic, and produces urease and other toxins.
Infection with Helicobacter pylori is common in patients with peptic ulceration. A short course of standard ulcer treatment usually heals ulceration but about 85% of patients relapse within a year. In patients with duodenal ulcer, eradication of H. pylori causes the relapse rate to fall to 0 - 20%.
The best test for identification of H Pylori and for confirmation of eradication is the 13C urea breath test (1).
- BSG (2002) Dyspepsia management guidelines.
- Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin (1993); 31(4) 4: 15.
Last reviewed 06/2021