Helicobacter pylori phase variation, immune modulation and gastric autoimmunity

Mathijs Bergman, Gianfranco Del Prete, Yvette van Kooyk, Ben Appelmelk

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


Helicobacter pylori can be regarded as a model pathogen for studying persistent colonization of humans. Phase-variable expression of Lewis blood-group antigens by H. pylori allows this microorganism to modulate the host T-helper-1-cell versus T-helper-2-cell response. We describe a model in which interactions between host lectins and pathogen carbohydrates facilitate asymptomatic persistence of H. pylori. This delicate balance, favourable for both the pathogen and the host, could lead to gastric autoimmunity in genetically susceptible individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-9
Number of pages9
JournalCritical reviews in microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Autoimmunity
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Helicobacter Infections/genetics
  • Helicobacter pylori/immunology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Stomach Diseases/genetics

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