Bacteria That Cause Ulcers
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In the early 1980's, Drs. Barry Marshall and Robin Warren of Australia discovered bacteria in the stomach lining of patients with chronic gastritis and peptic ulcers. The flagellated corkscrew-shaped bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, apparently survives in the forbidding acid environment of the stomach and duodenum by hiding in the mucus and neutralizing stomach acid in its local environment. Long thought precipitated by stress and stomach acidity, ulcers are increasingly believed related more to the presence of Helicobacter infection. Instead of prescribing milk to reduce stomach acidity, antibiotics are used in the successful treatment of peptic ulcers. For more of this fascinating detective story, visit Barry Marshall's Helicobacter Foundation and read the article by Jack Brown in "Bugs in the News".
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