Helicobacter pylori infection is highly prevalent worldwide and is an important cause of gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma (MALToma), and gastric adenocarcinoma. Infection is usually acquired during childhood and tends to persist unless treated. Because eradication requires treatment with multidrug regimens, prevention of initial infection by a suitable vaccine is attractive. Although immunization with H pylori protein subunits has been encouraging in animals, similar vaccine trials in humans have shown adjuvant-related adverse effects and only moderate effectiveness. Newer immunization approaches (use of DNA, live vectors, bacterial ghosts, and microspheres) are being developed. Several questions about when and whom to vaccinate will need to be appropriately answered, and a cost-effective vaccine production and delivery strategy will have to be useful for developing countries. For this review, we searched MEDLINE using the Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms Helicobacter pylori and vaccines for articles in English from 1990 to 2007.
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