The Helicobacter Pylori's Way of Life Essay

The Helicobacter Pylori's Way of Life Essay

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Helicobacter pylori is a pathogen that thrives in an individual’s stomach. It is spiral in shape and is classified as a unipolar, microaerophilic, gram-negative bacterium. This bacterium was discovered to be the cause of more than eighty percent of all peptic ulcers2. H. Pylori have four to six flagella that help with its motility1. Its flagella also enable it to move into and take up residence in the thick mucus layer of the stomach3. This part of the stomach protects the bacterium from highly acidic contents. H. pylori’s genome was found to be one-third the size of E-coli’s genome2. This indicates that there are possibly many specializations or variation involved with H. pylori.

It is characterized that this organism produces the enzymes catalase and urease. Both catalase and urease helps with the bacterium’s pathogenicity. Urease enzyme is considered the main virulence factor of H. pylori. It breaks down urea, which then produces ammonia that protects the bacterium from the acid in the stomach3. Ammonia presents as a buffer that neutralizes stomach acid, helping H. pylori to thrive2. As well, catalase enhances its ability to overcome the white blood cells that tries to kill the bacteria1. H. pylori produces two more enzymes right after it colonizes the stomach. Protease and phospholipase are enzymes that act on gastric epithelium to destroy the mucus layer of the stomach1. Surrounding H. pylori, there is a structure called adhesins that enable it to bind to the host cell. H. pylori’s adhesins are also virulent factors since its adherence to the gastric mucosa protects it from the acidic pH. The most notable adhesin of this bacterium is a protein called “BabA” or blood group antigen binding adhesion2. When BabA bind to gastr...

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...cobacter pylori: microbiology, transmission and health significance. Gastrointestinal Nursing [serial on the Internet]. (2012, Feb), [cited March 23, 2014]; 10(1): 45-50. Available from: CINAHL Plus with Full Text.
2. Sherwood L, Kell R, Ward C. Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems. 2nd Canadian Edition. Ontario: Nelson Education Ltd; 2013. P. 609.
3. Kalali B, Mejias-Luque R, Javaheri A, Gerhard M. H. pylori Virulence Factors: Influence on Immune System and Pathology. Vol. 2014 (2014). Retrieved from:
4. Israel D, Peek R. The Role of Persistence in Helicobacter pylori pathogenesis. 2006;22(1):3-7.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Helicobacter pylori [document on the internet]. July 1998. Available from:

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