[IWAR] BIO H. pylori and ulcers

From: 7Pillars Partners (partnersat_private)
Date: Sat Apr 04 1998 - 09:39:24 PST

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    How Ulcer Bacteria Cause Disease
       NEW YORK (Reuters) -- A new study shows how the bacteria Helicobacter
       pylori (H. pylori) can lead to ulcers and stomach cancer, and may help
       scientists learn how other bacteria cause disease. The study is reported
       in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
       Half of the people in the world are infected with H. pylori, though most
       have few symptoms and may live with the bug for decades. But 10% to 20%
       of infected individuals will eventually develop ulcers or inflammation
       of the stomach, and 30% to 90% of stomach cancers are tied to H. pylori.
       In the study, Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon from Washington University School of
       Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, and colleagues inserted a human gene
       called Lewis b (Leb) into the stomach cells of mice and then infected
       the mice with H. pylori. The researchers discovered that the bacteria
       attached to the stomach linings of mice with Leb but not those without
       Leb, where the bug went into gastric mucus.
       When H. pylori went onto the stomach lining, the mice with Leb made
       antibodies to attack the bacteria. But the antibodies were similar to
       other cells already in the mice, so the animals' immune systems began to
       attack those cells as well as the bacteria. This caused an inflammatory
       response similar to chronic active gastritis found in people who have an
       active H. pylori infection.
       "This is a rather extraordinary example of a bacterium that can be
       relatively harmless in some people and cause cancer in others," Gordon
       said in a statement. "The challenge is to identify patients who are at
       risk for developing more serious disease." SOURCE: Proceedings of the
       National Academy of Sciences (1998;95:3925-3930)

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