Helicobacter pylori is a gram-negative bacterium that was first isolated in 1982. Since then, H. pylori infection in humans has been shown to be associated with gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric carcinoma, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma as well. The epidemiology, transmission, and pathogenicity of H. pylori has been a subject of intensive study. Successful treatment improves the cure rate of peptic ulcerations and treatment with antimicrobials also decreases the recurrence rate of these diseases. Better regimens having less toxicity and a good eradication rate have also been developed. A better understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms relating to H. pylori induced mucosal damages would result in more options for the prevention of peptic ulcers and carcinogenesis. Korea has a relatively high incidence of H. pylori infection and gastric cancer. Growing interest has developed in view of its importance in being associated with various gastroduodenal diseases. Furthermore, along with a high incidence of H. pylori-related disease in Korea, because the interaction between H. pylori, host factors and environmental factors is important in disease pathogenesis, we need to have precise data on the characteristics of H. pylori-related diseases that occur in Korea. In the present report we review the epidemiology, transmission route, diagnosis, pathogenesis, treatment methods and relationship with gastroduodenal diseases with in special references to basic and clinical data that have been published.
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