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Public Health Reviews

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Preface: From Science to Public Health: The Helicobacter pylori Case

  • Antoine Flahault11 and
  • Theodore H. Tulchinsky21
Public Health Reviews201032:BF03391588

Published: 15 June 2010


The Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded in 2005 to JR Warren and BJ Marshall for their identification of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori as the cause of peptic ulcer diseases, establishing another link between infection and chronic diseases. This dramatic scientific breakthrough led to curative treatments which reduced suffering from many acute and chronic conditions previously managed with a wide array of medical and surgical care, mostly with poor results. This discovery also had major implications for public health and healthcare systems with reduction in hospitalisation and surgery as well as in gastric cancer. Potential future benefits for global health will be expanded through control of infection with this organism which affects half of the world population. Hopefully, a vaccine will soon be found to augment individual care and sanitary methods of control of this common bacterial infection. Professor Robin Warren here recalls the process of this monumental discovery.

Key words

Helicobacter pylori chronic peptic ulcer diseaseshistory of medical scienceNobel Prize in Medicine 2005