Pathologists noted the presence of spiral bacterial in the human stomach as early as 1906. Although similar observations were repeatedly reported during the subsequent decades, they did not receive much attention because the bacteria could not be cultured. The introduction of flexible fiberoptic endoscopes and the establishment of microaerobic and selective culture techniques for Campylobacter species were important prerequisites for the first isolation in culture of Helicobacter pylori from human gastric biopsies by two Australian researchers, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren in 1982. The most important argument for a pathogenic role of H. pylori came from clinical trials showing that the elimination of H. pylori substantially changes the clinical course of ulcer disease. The elimination of H. pylori with antibiotic-containing regimens significantly reduced the high relapse rate of gastroduodenal ulcer disease. Thus, peptic ulcer disease, which previously could only be controlled by long-term treatment with inhibitors of gastric acid secretion or by surgery, became a condition that can be substantially improved by a short course of antibiotic treatment. In 2005, Marshall and Warren received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their first isolation of H. pylori and showing the role of eradicative therapy in the control of ulcer disease. However, the long-term consequences of H. pylori eradication are not known.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)