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Isolated for the first time in 1982 from human gastric biopsy, Helicobacter pylori is responsible for gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric cancer. A pathogenicity island acquired by horizontal transfer, coding for a type IV secretion system, is a major determinant of virulence. The infection is now treated with antibiotics, and vaccines are in preparation. The geographic distribution suggests coevolution of man and Helicobacter pylori.
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