A two-step PCR-based assay of a small region of the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria can help detect H. pylori infection, which has been developed by a team of researchers from the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (ICMR-NICED), Kolkata.
Facts for Prelims
Helicobacter pylori: A Bacterial Infection in the Digestive Tract
- Helicobacter pylori, often abbreviated as H. pylori, is a common type of bacteria that thrives in the digestive tract and has a particular affinity for attacking the stomach lining.
- It is uniquely adapted to survive in the harsh, acidic environment of the stomach.
- Infections with H. pylori usually occur during childhood.
- While H. pylori infections are typically harmless, they are a leading cause of ulcers in the stomach and small intestine.
- This bacterium can alter its surroundings, reducing acidity, which allows it to thrive more effectively.
- The spiral shape of H. pylori enables it to penetrate the stomach lining, where it is shielded by mucus, making it inaccessible to the body’s immune cells.
- Most individuals with H. pylori infections remain asymptomatic, showing no signs or symptoms.
- When symptoms do appear due to H. pylori infection, they are often related to conditions such as gastritis or peptic ulcers. These symptoms may include:
- Ache or burning pain in the abdomen (stomach)
- Increased stomach pain on an empty stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
- The typical treatment for H. pylori infection involves a combination of antibiotics and a proton-pump inhibitor, which reduces stomach acid production. This treatment regimen lasts for up to 14 days and is often referred to as “triple therapy.”
-Source: The Hindu