Is Helicobacter pylori Stirring up Trouble in Your Stomach?
By: Jacqueline PerezDecember 9, 2010
Helicobacter Pylori ((
Helicobacter Pylori ((

Helicobacter pylori is one of the most common bacteria known to cause infections worldwide. Since the discovery of this bacteria is fairly new there are still many questions left unanswered about the characteristics this bacteria contains. H. pylori is usually transmitted among people living within the same household. It is contracted through sharing eating utensils, drinking the same water, and other forms of person -to- person contact. H. pylori has been known to be a contributing factor in the development of stomach cancer. Many studies show that those individuals that carry this bacteria have an increased risk of developing gastric cancer down the line if they do not take an active stance in controlling this bacteria There are several methods which can help treat people with H. Pylori which can then help lower their risk of developing stomach cancer.

After reading about Helicobacter pylori in my microbiology textbook and learning about it in class I wanted to discover more about this bacteria because I felt that the information I had was very brief. The key points that I learned in class were that this bacteria is somewhat new and that it has been associated with causing stomach cancer within its victims. My reasoning for researching this topic was to learn more about how this bacterium causes gastric cancer and what treatments currently exist to aid those who currently have it in their stomach. Since stomach cancer is such a vicious cancer to fight, I felt that it was important to research this topic and inform others on how they can try to prevent the transmission of H. pylori. The most significant findings in my research was that if detected early and with proper treatment, H. pylori can be maintained and can reduce the risk of a person developing gastri
Warren and Marshall
Warren and Marshall
c cancer in the future.

Helicobacter Pylori:
This bacteria was first described by Warren and Marshall in 1983 (Vale, 2010). H. pylori is a gram negative spiral-shaped microaerophilic bacterium which has been known to neutralize human’s stomach acid which therefore allows this bacteria to thrive and develop within the stomach (Case, 2010). The growth of this bacteria causes the immune system to commence a response which in turn can lead to the development of stomach cancer (Case, 2010). *picture of Warren and Marshall provided by: (


The transmission of this bacteria is still not fully understood however; scientists speculate that H. pylori is most likely transmitted by living in overcrowded unsanitary conditions through oral to oral, gasto to oral and faecal to oral transmission(Vale, 2010). Evidence suggest that poor hygiene is a contributing factor in contracting this bacteria and that most infections occur in rural developing areas (Vale, 2010). Individuals generally contract H. pylori during childhood yet there are some uncommon cases in which adults obtain this bacteria (Plummer, 2000). Due to the fact that most transmission occurs during childhood, it is crucial that this bacteria be detected early in order to prevent further damage to the stomach (Plummer, 2000).

Correlation to Stomach Cancer:
Infection with H. pylori is a contributing factor to the development of stomach ulcers which if left untreated could lead to a transformation of the gastric mucosa and can therefore be a precursor for gastric cancer (Sonnenberg, 2002). Helicobacter pylori promotes various alterations in gene expressions within gastric cells, this can further change structures inside of the stomach that encourage persistent infection as well as bacterial adhesion (Carvalho, 2008). This bacteria inspires neutrophil polymorphs as well as monocytes to create an extreme quantity of reactive oxygen metabolites which can disrupt DNA formation causing mutations as well as harm to the DNA structures (Chueng, 2008)

Treatment: The current treatment for those individuals infected with H. pylori is as follows: triple therapy with proton pumper inhibitor, amoxicillin and clarythromicin (Alazmi, 2010). Therapy usually lasts about 7 days and has been known to fail in about 20% of patients due to antibiotic resistance (Vale, 2010). It's importantant that the infected individual follow exactly what the treatment requires in order to get the best results (Alazmi, 2010). Failing to follow proper treratment could lead to an 80% risk of treatment being not fully effective (Alazmi, 2010). If done properly eradication therapy can remove the direct carcinogenic effect that H. pylori has (Ito, 2009).
Early detection os a key factor in preventing the formation of cancer caused by H. pylori (Chueng, 2008). Obliteration of this bacteria inhibits the development of gastric precancerous lesions and is the most promising approach in preventing cancer development (Chueng, 2008). Trying to live in a somewhat sanitary environment can also help reduce transmission of this disease given that this particular disease tends to be spread within unsanitary living conditions.

Quick Informative H. pylori Video:
H. pylori Video

About The Stomach:
Helicobacter Pylori

Video from:
Sources Cited
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TITLE: DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR AIDS/HIV PATIENTS' IMMUNE SYSTEMS AUTHOR: JAMIE HINES DATE: DECEMBER 9, 2010 ABSTRACT: Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is one of the most common cancers found in AIDS patients. It is a tumorous cancer of the skin. The weakened immune system caused by HIV in AIDS patients provides the breeding ground for an opportunistic infection. The Human Herpes Virus 8 (HHV-8) is the cause of the viral cancer, Kaposi sarcoma, in AIDS patients. KS is not a new disease as it has been around for hundreds of years, but was rare until the 1980’s AIDS epidemic which brought about a large number of cases that still continue to date especially in Africa. In the United States, modern highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) drugs help suppress KS by improving the immune system in AIDS patients. Yet small African nations aren’t advanced enough to have these medications at their disposal. There are a number of treatment options but no cure for the viral cancer, KS. INTRODUCTION: I wanted to research cancers caused by viruses so I specifically chose the viral cancer, Kaposi sarcoma, and its relationship to AIDS/HIV. I went on a mission’s trip to Africa this past summer and saw first-hand the devastating effects of AIDS/HIV especially on children. So when we touched on the topic of biosynthesis of DNA viruses in microbiology class, I immediately thought of those AIDS patients I had seen in Africa, many of which had Kaposi sarcoma. I wanted to understand more about the viral cancer Kaposi sarcoma and its relationship to AIDS/HIV and this research paper gives me the opportunity to do research in this area. My significant finding is that Kaposi sarcoma is more prevalent in AIDS/HIV patients and intensive treatment with AIDS drugs helps but after tumors are formed, it is much harder to control. There is no cure for Kaposi sarcoma to date. (American Cancer Society, 2010)

DISCUSSION: Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, life-threatening condition caused by HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). In a person that has AIDS, the cells of their immune system are injured or killed, where specific changes take place in the T-cell lymphocyte, affecting their body’s fighting capability toward bacteria, fungi or viruses that cause disease. This weakened immune system is more vulnerable to certain types of cancers like Kaposi sarcoma (KS). Elliot Kieff writes in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs “HIV infection alters cellular, cytokine, and humoral components of the immune response, decreases antiviral cellular immune responses, increases the burden of persistent virus infections, and thereby predisposes HIV infected people to develop viral-associated cancers.”
This image is a highly magnified transmission electron micrographic (TEM) showing the presence of human immunodeficiency virus in a tissue sample. Provided by Center for Disease Control ID #8254

In the early years of the AIDS epidemic, KS became the face of HIV. The “AIDS look” was recognized by its small dark lesions on the skin. (Cichocki, 2007) Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a cancer of the skin and blood vessels. It is a tumor of the skin characterized by multiple flat pink, brown or purple bumps, patches or lesions. It is often recognized by doctors due to its appearance and then biopsied for confirmation. (Urban, 2007) KS can also be found in the lining of the mouth and can affect internal organs as well like the lungs, liver and intestinal tract. There are three types of KS which are classic, immunosuppressive-treatment related and epidemic. Patients who have AIDS and are diagnosed with Kaposi sarcoma are placed in the epidemic group and KS tends to spread more quickly in these patients. (UCSF, 2010) According to The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library “Human herpes virus 8 has been implicated as a cause of cancer (Kaposi's sarcoma) in people with AIDS.”

Human Herpes Virus 8 (HHV-8) is one of many herpes viruses that move along a pattern of biosynthesis. Viruses that contain DNA use viral enzymes to reproduce their own DNA in the nucleus of the host cell. They also produce other proteins and their virus shell in the cytoplasm by using host cell enzymes. In this course of action, the proteins will travel into the nucleus and are then united with the newly synthesized DNA to form virions. These virions are then moved along the ER to the host cell’s membrane for release. (Case, 2010) This damage to the DNA along with other molecular events, such as transformation, cause cancerous cells that then form solid KS lesions in connective tissue. (Harper, 1994) Yet HHV-8’s viral oncology is still not completely understood, however, it is known as a latent virus which can reactivate and become recurring.

This brown cutaneous nodule represents a Kaposi’s sarcoma lesion commonly found in patients with AIDS. Provided by Dr. Steve Kraus Center for Disease Control ID#6436

Kaposi sarcoma (KS) was first described by Moritz Kaposi in 1872 and was for nearly a century thought to be a rare disorder of older men especially of Eastern European, Mediterranean, and/or Jewish descent. The commonality of KS increased in the early 1980’s and it soon became the most prevalent malignancy of AIDS patients. (Geraminejad, 2002) African countries have the highest rates of KS in AIDS patients. Unfortunately there is also a form of KS in young African children which is almost always fatal.

For AIDS patients, fighting the HIV infection is the most important part of treating KS. Typically, KS lesions begin to shrink as a patient’s immune function improves. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) used to treat the HIV infection also helps prevent the development of KS. However, pain and swelling from KS may need further treatment. (Wells, 2008) Treatments include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and biologic therapy. Low dose radiation is usually used on highly visible lesions and when chemotherapy isn’t a good choice. Chemotherapy is sometimes added to HAART for certain patients like those with many skin or mouth lesions and those with severe swelling. (American Cancer Society, 2010) Combination therapies are also another treatment alternative. Supportive care in the form of nutritional counseling, pain management and infection control are also important factors in the treatment of KS. Therapies are very individualized dependent upon the severity, the progress rate, and the patient’s history of prior treatment. (Feigel, 2000)

This photomicrograph of a cutaneous biopsy shows Kaposi's sarcoma at a medium magnification. Provided by Dr. Steve Kraus Center for Disease Control ID#5523


American Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Database Editorial Board, Kaposi Sarcoma Guide, (2010)
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