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H. pylori (Helicobacter Pylori ) Infection

H. pylori (Helicobacter Pylori ) Infection

Is H. pylori contagious?

Yes, H. pylori is contagious. However, sometimes there is a grey area between the terms contagious and colonized. Contagious usually implies that a disease-causing agent is transferred from person to person, while colonization usually implies an agent that simply populating an organ but does not cause disease, even when transferred from person to person. The grey area occurs when many people have the agent that causes disease in some of them, but not in many others. Some microbiologists consider such organisms as adapting to their human hosts by slowly changing from infecting humans to colonizing them. Although this is a speculation, it seems to fit the ongoing situation with H. pylori. However, others think the bacteria become infecting agents when their genes and the surrounding environment trigger H. pylori to produce and release enough toxic chemicals to cause the GI tract to become inflamed.

Reviewed on 6/28/2016
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