Helicobacter pylori infection has been recognized as a worldwide problem. H. pylori infection is the most prevalent cause of chronic gastritis and has been related to peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. It is considered that H. pylori infects half of the world’s population. Several virulence factors are produced by H. pylori in which each of them is related to an increase in the risk of disease development. The vacuolating cytotoxin (VacA) is one of these virulence factors. The first defined action of VacA was induction of intracellular vacuolation. VacA uses a variation in other effects on target cells, such as disruption of mitochondrial functions, stimulation of apoptosis, and blockade of T-cell proliferation, for the induction of vacuolation. In addition, VacA has an important role for colonization of H. pylori in vivo.
Part of the book: Helicobacter Pylori