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The World in Medicine
June 14, 2000

Where Did H pylori Come From?

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JAMA. 2000;283(22):2923. doi:10.1001/jama.283.22.2923-JWM00004-4-1

Do Asians stricken with Helicobacter pylori infection have a bug passed down from an early Mongolian gerbil?

In this month's Journal of Bacteriology, an international group of scientists suggests that the ulcer-causing bacterium did not evolve in prehuman ancestors over millions of years. Rather, they imply that H pylori is a more recent phenomenon, transmitted from animals to humans when agricultural practices and population densities increased.

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