Epsilonproteobacteria is a large group of Gram-negative curved or spiral microaerophilic rods, of which many are difficult to culture. Because this group of bacteria is not very well investigated, our knowledge about them is limited, and a great amount of research is still needed. At least two species are well-established human pathogens: Campylobacter jejuni/coli causing gastroenteritis and Helicobacter pylori causing gastric and extra-gastric manifestations. It is well accepted that H. pylori causes a chronic inflammation in the stomach and thereby causes H. pylori-associated gastritis, which may or may not be symptomatic. The association between H. pylori and peptic ulcers, MALT lymphomas, gastric cancer, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, and unexplained iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) is strongly evidence based. On the other hand, pernicious (vitamin B12 deficiency) anemia, neuromyelitis optica, asthma, and Graves’ disease are less evidence based. H. pylori may also be associated with cardiovascular disease, pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, obesity, diabetes mellitus type 2, Parkinson’s disease, liver diseases, and preeclampsia. H. pylori is thus involved in many gastric and extra-gastric manifestations either directly or indirectly by several proposed mechanisms including antigenic mimicry.
Part of the book: Helicobacter Pylori