What is H. pylori bacteria?


Quick Answer

H. pylori, or Helicobacter pylori, is a spiral-shaped bacterium that is most commonly found as a commensal bacterium in the stomach. The bacteria is able to penetrate the epithelial cells of the stomach and cause stomach ulcers or stomach inflammation to occur.

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Full Answer

The unique shape of the H. pylori bacterium causes it to easily penetrate the lining of the stomach. Once it has penetrated the stomach's protective inner layer, it can release toxic substances that cause stomach lining to weaken. This allows the gastric acid in the stomach to form an ulcer. It can also cause gastritis to occur and increase a person's risk of developing stomach cancer.

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