In 1982, Australian researchers Barry Marshall and Robin Warren discovered spiral-shaped bacteria in the stomach, later named Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). After closely studying H. pylori's effect on the stomach, they proposed that the bacteria were the underlying cause of gastritis and peptic ulcers.
In their studies, all patients with duodenal ulcers and 80 percent of patients with stomach ulcers had the bacteria. The 20 percent of patients with stomach ulcers who did not have H. pylori were those who had taken NSAIDs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) which are a common cause of stomach ulcers.
Although the findings seem conclusive, Marshall and Warren's theory was debated and disputed for some time. However, further evidence linking H. pylori to ulcers mounted over the next 10 years as numerous studies from around the world confirmed its presence in most people with ulcers. Researchers from the United States and Europe proved that using antibiotics to eliminate H. pylori healed ulcers and prevented recurrence in about 90 percent of cases.
To further investigate these findings, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) established a panel to closely review the link between H. pylori and peptic ulcer disease. At the February 1994 Consensus Development Conference, the panel concluded that H. pylori plays a significant role in the development of ulcers and that antibiotics, with other medications, can successfully treat peptic ulcer disease.
Serum antibody positivity for distinct Helicobacter pylori antigens in benign and malignant gastroduodenal disease.
Does Helicobacter pylori cause gastric cancer via oxidative stress?