Infection with H. pylori is one of the most common chronic bacterial infections in humans, with an estimated global prevalence of 50% in adults. The risk of infection increases with age and is higher in developing countries than in developed countries. The primary risk factor for H. pylori infection is living in a household with another person who is infected, as the bacterium is spread through oral-oral or fecal-oral transmission.
H. pylori infection is associated with a range of gastrointestinal diseases, including gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, gastric cancer, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. Gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer are common gastrointestinal diseases that can cause pain, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms. Gastric cancer is a serious type of cancer that can be caused by long-term infection with H. pylori, as it has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO). MALT lymphoma is a rare type of lymphoma that may develop as a result of H. pylori infection.
Symptoms of H. pylori infection may include abdominal pain or discomfort, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and acid reflux. In some cases, infection may not cause any symptoms. However, if left untreated, H. pylori infection can lead to more serious diseases such as gastric cancer or MALT lymphoma. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor for testing and treatment if you think you may have H. pylori infection.