Author(s): Drahoslava LesbrosPantoflicko, Irne CorthsyTheulaz, Andr L Blum
Helicobacter pylori infection, a highly prevalent pathogen, is a major cause of chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer and a risk factor for gastric malignancies. Antibiotics-based H. pylori eradication treatment is 90% effective. However, it is expensive and causes side effects and antibiotic resistance. Probiotics could present a low-cost, large-scale alternative solution to prevent or decrease H. pylori colonization. A literature search of the MEDLINE database (1966-2006) has been performed selecting all in vitro, animal, and human fully published English-language studies dealing with H. pylori and probiotics. Probiotics had an in vitro inhibitory effect on H. pylori. Animal studies demonstrated that probiotic treatment is effective in reducing H. pylori-associated gastric inflammation. Seven of 9 human studies showed an improvement of H. pylori gastritis and decrease in H. pylori density after administration of probiotics. The addition of probiotics to standard antibiotic treatment improved H. pylori eradication rates (81% vs. 71%, with combination treatment vs. H. pylori-eradication treatment alone; chi(2)test: P=0.03). Probiotic treatment reduced H. pylori therapy-associated side effects (incidence of side effects: 23% vs. 46%, with combination therapy vs. H. pylori-eradication treatment alone; chi(2)test: P=0.04). No study could demonstrate the eradication of H. pylori infection by probiotic treatment. So long-term intake of products containing probiotic strains of probiotics may have a favorable effect on H. pylori infection in humans, particularly by reducing the risk of developing disorders associated with high degrees of gastric inflammation.