Whos Winning the War? Molecular Mechanisms of Antibiotic Resistance in Helicobacter pylori
Kathleen R. Jones, Jeong-Heon Cha and D. Scott Merrell
Affiliation: Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Rd., Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.
The ability of clinicians to wage an effective war against many bacterial infections is increasingly being hampered by skyrocketing rates of antibiotic resistance. Indeed, antibiotic resistance is a significant problem for treatment of diseases caused by virtually all known infectious bacteria. The gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori is no exception to this rule. With more than 50% of the worlds population infected, H. pylori exacts a tremendous medical burden and represents an interesting paradigm for cancer development; it is the only bacterium that is currently recognized as a carcinogen. It is now firmly established that H. pylori infection is associated with diseases such as gastritis, peptic and duodenal ulceration and two forms of gastric cancer, gastric adenocarcinoma and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. With such a large percentage of the population infected, increasing rates of antibiotic resistance are particularly vexing for a treatment regime that is already fairly complicated; treatment consists of two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor. To date, resistance has been found to all primary and secondary lines of antibiotic treatment as well as to drugs used for rescue therapy.
Keywords: Molecular Mechanisms, Antibiotic Resistance, Helicobacter pylori, bacterial infections, gastric pathogen, carcinogen, gastric adenocarcinoma, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT)
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