The prevalence of H. pylori infection, mainly acquired during childhood and may be persisting throughout life, has been found high in developing countries; this high prevalence is related to low socioeconomic status. The persistence of bacterium exposure is related to gastritis and other severe complications including peptic ulcer, lymphoma MALT and gastric cancer, which are rarely present in the pediatric age due to a lower inflammatory and immunological response. Virulence factors, host gastric mucosal factors, and the natural environment of patients are associated with the clinical outcome of H. pylori infection. The main bacterial virulence factors include adhesins (BabA, SabA), vacuolating cytotoxin VacA, and the products of the cag pathogenicity island (cag PAI). There are geographic differences between cagA, vacA status and H. pylori related diseases. The main criteria to evaluate H. pylori infection in children are gastrointestinal and extra gastrointestinal manifestations related to H. pylori infection, familial history of gastric cancer, peptic ulcer, lymphoma MALT, symptomatic children living in high prevalence regions, and immigrant or adopted children in developed countries. Early detection of H. pylori and its virulence factors, in addition to effective methods of eradication associated with prevention programs, may lead to the decrease of H. pylori incidence and gastritis, especially in endemic high-risk regions. The early assessment in children may prevent further severe complications in adulthood.Free PDF Download
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D. Ortiz-Princz, G. Daoud, A. Salgado-Sabel, M.E. Cavazza
Helicobacter pylori infection in children: should it be carefully assessed?
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 20 - N. 9