Table of Contents
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection facts
- What is Helicobacter pylori (stomach bacteria)?
- How does a person become infected with H. pylori?
- What are the symptoms of H. pylori infections?
- Is H. pylori contagious?
- Which specialties of doctors treat H. pylori infection?
- Is there a test to diagnose H. pylori infection?
- What medications treat and cure H. pylori infection?
- Is H. pylori infection easy to cure?
- Can natural treatments cure H. pylori infection?
- Is everyone with H. pylori infection treated?
- Can H. pylori infections be prevented?
- What is the prognosis for a person with H. pylori infection?
Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions
Is H. pylori contagious?
Yes, H. pylori is contagious. However, sometimes there is a grey area between the terms contagious and colonized. Contagious usually implies that a disease-causing agent is transferred from person to person, while colonization usually implies an agent that simply populating an organ but does not cause disease, even when transferred from person to person. The grey area occurs when many people have the agent that causes disease in some of them, but not in many others. Some microbiologists consider such organisms as adapting to their human hosts by slowly changing from infecting humans to colonizing them. Although this is a speculation, it seems to fit the ongoing situation with H. pylori. However, others think the bacteria become infecting agents when their genes and the surrounding environment trigger H. pylori to produce and release enough toxic chemicals to cause the GI tract to become inflamed.
Cancer.gov. Helicobacter pylori and Cancer. Reviewed Sep 5, 2013
Chey, W. et al. "American College Gastroenterology Guideline on the management of Helicobacter pylori Infection." Amer. J. Gastro, 102:1808-1825, 2007.
FDA. FDA approves first Helicobacter pylori breath test for children. Feb 24, 2014
Santacroce, L. "Helicobacter Pylori Infection." Medscape. Sep 11, 2014.
Crowe, S. MD., et al. "Patient information: Helicobacter pylori infection and treatment (Beyond the Basics)." UpToDate. Oct 08, 2015.
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