Victor Reyes, Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical Branch, and David Y. Graham, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine.
Helicobacter pylori (Hp) is an emerging bacterial pathogen that colonizes the human gastroduodenal mucosa in more than half of the world's population. This Gram-negative bacterium is etiologically linked to gastritis and peptic ulcer disease (PUD). PUD results in a significant burden in morbidity, mortality and health care costs. Annually in the US, PUD affects 5 million people resulting in 1 million hospitalizations and 6,500 fatalities. More than 85% of cases of PUD are due to infection with Hp. According to the CDC, the annual health care costs associated with PUD in the US are estimated at $6 billion. In most cases Hp infections remain latent with only about 20% ever developing clinical disease such as PUD. Approximately 25% of those with PUD suffer a serious complication such as major bleeding. The availability of reliable biomarkers of disease that may be easily accessible would facilitate early intervention which would in turn result in significant reductions in morbidity and mortality associated with PUD.
The study goal is to identify candidate biomarkers or biomarker panels present in the sera of Hp-infected individuals that could be used for early diagnosis and treatment of PUD. These findings can be used clinically to indicate the presence of PUD without invasive testing or assessing treatment response.