Helicobacter pylori: what is it, how is it transmitted and symptoms

Helicobacter pylori is a pink battery, that is, gram-negative with double cell membrane, it is considered the most important that lives in the stomach. It is responsible for digestive problems, such as gastritis, peptic ulcer, MALT lymphoma, among others. The most worrying thing is that it is usually asymptomatic. Therefore, some infected individuals will not manifest any type of symptoms.

To understand more about Helicobacter, we will provide you with information about its transmission and symptoms.

What is Helicobacter pylori?

The term comes from 1989, after it was renamed. Previously, it was known as Campylobacter pyloridis, it went on to be named Campylobacter, finally a correction was made to replace it with the genus Helicobacter, since it did not belong to the Campylobacter branch. On the other hand, the word “pylori” comes from the Latin pylorus, which translates to gatekeeper. Referring to the opening of the stomach that leads to the duodenum.

On the other hand, its shape is helical bacillus, that is, with curves that form a constant angle. Likewise, it is characterized by being responsible for peptic ulcer, gastritis and lymphoid tissue lymphoma. Stays in the stomach and is screwed to establish itself in the gastric epithelium. Also, it has urease, which allows it to establish itself in an acidic environment.

How is Helicobacter pylori spread?

According to the analyzes, half of the world’s population is infected with Helicobacter pylori . Therefore, it has been related to migrations and global distribution. Similarly, the probability leans towards poor sanitary conditions, with the elderly being the most affected. Other forms of transmission can be:

  • Infected food or water.
  • Contact with saliva, feces, or vomiting.
  • Cramped conditions.
  • Decline in clean and potable water systems.
  • Decaying living conditions, developing countries and unsanitary environments.
  • Being with a person infected with the bacteria. Especially if they live together and share kitchen utensils.


In some cases, an individual can be a carrier of Helicobacter pylori and not present any type of symptoms. To verify the infection it is necessary to carry out a study. However, there are also people who show signs, such as the ones mentioned below:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Burning and frequent pain in the abdomen.
  • Sharp pain in the abdominal area, usually increases on an empty stomach.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent gas and belching.
  • Abdominal swelling

Helicobacter pylori treatment

The application will depend on the type of infection. Also, if it is asymptomatic or has symptoms. Generally, antibiotics are used, such as clarithromycin and omeprazole. Other applications can be:

  • Triple therapy: consists of the use of different inhibitors, such as rabeprazole and pantoprazole. Also, combinations of amoxicillin with metronidazole are used, especially for individuals allergic to penicillin.
  • Quadruple therapy: it is used in those people with bacteria resistant to antibiotics. In this sense, combinations of therapies and antibiotics are applied. In addition, of bismuth compounds, combined with the traditional treatment. Similarly, clarithromycin and levofloxacin are administered.
  • Asymptomatic patients: Doctors will indicate the appropriate treatment, according to individual manifestations.

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