Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infects the cells of the stomach lining, causing production of a toxin and subsequent inflammation that can lead to a variety of symptoms and signs. The clinical picture is very variable in that some people who are infected do not have any symptoms. Others may have mild symptoms, while others develop severe symptoms and ulcers.
Mild symptoms of H. pylori infection are
In more severe cases, those affected by H. pylori may experience
- vomiting blood,
- dark stool (from bleeding into the gastrointestinal tract),
- anemia (from red blood cell loss due to bleeding),
- bad breath,
- worsening abdominal pain.
Causes of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection
H. pylori is a type of bacteria that can invade the lining of the stomach, causing an infection. The inflammation results from production of a toxin known as vacuolating cytotoxin A (Vac-A). The inflammation can lead to ulcer formation.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Main Article on Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) Symptoms and Signs
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