Is Helicobacter the only bacteria that causes stomach ulcers?

Barry Marshall won the 2005 Nobel Price in Medicine for proving that stomach ulcers are caused by bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Several papers have shown that a type of stomach cancer called MALT is caused by the same bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and that many cases of MALT stomach cancers can be cured by taking antibiotics to kill Helicobacter. An exciting report from Austria shows that antibiotics can cure the stomach cancer even though it is not caused by Helicobacter (Gut, November 18, 2005.) So far, researchers have shown that more than 25 different bacteria can cause stomach ulcers, and doctors do not have the ability to test for all of these bacteria. Doctors cured this case of stomach cancer with metronidazole, clarithromycin and an antacid. I believe that anyone with symptoms of stomach distress should be given a trial with the triple therapy used to treat Helicobacter, even if the tests for Helicobacter are negative.

More on helicobacter

February 1, 2006

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