Treatment of Helicobacter pylori infections: Mitigating factors and prospective natural remedies
Keywords: Helicobacter pylori, treatment regimen, factors affecting treatment, alternative approaches, natural products
AbstractHelicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative, microaerophilic spiral or motile rod that infects about half the world’s population with a very high prevalence in the developing world. It is an important aetiological factor in the development of gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric atrophy and B cell mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. H. pylori infection is responsible for a significant cause of morbidity and mortality imposing a major burden on health care systems world wide. The high prevalence of infection in the developing countries has been attributed to poor socioeconomic status and sanitation as well as an increased trend of antibiotic resistance. Antimicrobial chemotherapy (two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor) employed for the treatment of H. pylori infections has emerged as the most important means to resolve these infections. However, antimicrobial therapy is fraught with a number of inherent limitations such as resistance, cost of treatment, unavailability of drugs in rural areas and undesirable side effects necessitating the need to search for alternative approaches from natural sources including vegetables, honey and probiotics amongst others. These could form the basis of novel low cost, efficient, large-scale and alternative/complementary solutions with minimal side effects to decrease or eradicate H. pylori infections in the future.
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