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The first 5 years of Helicobacter pylori research—With an emphasis on the United Kingdom

McNulty, Cliodna A. M. 2023. The first 5 years of Helicobacter pylori research—With an emphasis on the United Kingdom. Helicobacter , e12982. 10.1111/hel.12982

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In the 1970s, 1% of the UK population consulted with dyspepsia; fiberoptic gastroscopy allowed biopsy specimens under direct vision enabling systematic histopathology. Steer et al described clusters of flagellated bacteria closely apposed to the gastric epithelium associated with chronic active gastritis. The first UK series of Helicobacter pylori following Marshall's 1983 visit to Worcester confirmed the association of H. pylori with gastritis. UK researchers completed much early helicobacter research as there were many UK campylobacteriologists. Steer and Newell proved the Campylobacter‐like organisms grown on culture were the same as those seen in the gastric mucosa using antiserum raised by inoculating rabbits with H. pylori from cultures. Wyatt, Rathbone, and others showed a strong correlation between the number of organisms, type and severity of acute gastritis, immunological response, and bacterial adhesion similar to enteropathogenic E coli. Seroprevalence studies indicated H. pylori increased with age. Histopathologists also showed peptic duodenitis was in effect “gastritis in the duodenum” caused by H. pylori, unifying its role in the pathogenesis of both gastritis and duodenal ulceration. These bacteria were initially called Campylobacter pyloridis and then C. pylori. However, electron microscopy suggested that the bacteria were not campylobacters, and this was supported by differences in fatty acid and polyacrylamide electrophoresis profiles. In‐vitro tests indicated that H. pylori was susceptible to penicillins, erythromycin, and quinolones, but not trimethoprim or cefsulodin allowing development of selective media for culture. Monotherapy with erythromycin ethylsuccinate was ineffective, and patients treated with bismuth subsalicylate initially responded with clearance of H. pylori and the associated gastritis, but then many relapsed. Thus, pharmacokinetic and treatment studies were important to direct suitable dual and triple treatments. Work optimized serology, and the rapid biopsy urease and urea breath tests. The link between H.pylori and gastric cancer was established in large seroprevalence studies, and H. pylori test and treat for dyspepsia became routine.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1083-4389
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 April 2023
Date of Acceptance: 1 April 2023
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 16:05

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