Killer cousins

2019-03-07 04:11:01

CLOSE relatives of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that infects at least 40 per cent of the world’s population, have been implicated in hepatitis, liver cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. H. pylori can cause stomach ulcers and gastric cancer, though it may also keep other stomach bugs in check (New Scientist, 26 June, p 42). But out of 19 other species of Helicobacter identified so far, the majority are proven or suspected pathogens of the liver or intestine, Jim Fox of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston told the XIth International Congress of Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology in Sydney last week. Fox reports that these other species can induce inflammatory bowel disease and liver cancer in mice,