Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Risk Factors of Helicobacter pylori Infection

  • Kallirroi Kotilea
  • Patrick Bontems
  • Eliette TouatiEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1149)


Helicobacter pylori is a human-specific pathogen, which leads to gastric pathologies including gastric cancer. It is a highly unique bacterium considered as a carcinogenic agent. H. pylori remains a major human health problem, responsible for ~90% of the gastric cancer cases. Approximately four billion individuals have been detected for H. pylori infection worldwide in 2015. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the prevalence of H. pylori has been declining in highly industrialized countries of the Western world, whereas prevalence has plateaued at a high level in developing and newly industrialized countries. However, the infection status remains high in immigrants coming from countries with high prevalence of H. pylori infection. H. pylori can be diagnosed both by invasive and non-invasive methods. Urea breath test and stool antigens detection are among the most commonly used non-invasive ones. Although the way H. pylori is transmitted remains still not fully clear, the level of contamination is strongly dependent on the familial and environmental context, with a drastic impact of living conditions with poor hygiene and sanitation. However, familial socioeconomic status is the main risk factor for H. pylori infection among children. In addition, food and water source have a high impact on the prevalence of H. pylori infection worldwide. This chapter highlights the latest knowledge in the epidemiology of H. pylori infection, its diagnosis and critical risk factors responsible for its high prevalence in some populations and geographic areas.


Prevalence Invasive and non-invasive methods Familial factors Environment Life habits 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kallirroi Kotilea
    • 1
  • Patrick Bontems
    • 1
  • Eliette Touati
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Paediatric Gastroenterology UnitUniversité Libre de Bruxelles, Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants Reine FabiolaBruxellesBelgium
  2. 2.Unit of Helicobacter PathogenesisInstitut PasteurParisFrance

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