Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacterium (germ) that lives in the inner lining of the stomach. It produces a number of chemicals that damage the lining of the stomach. Once the infection is present, it persists for many years, if not for life.

About 40% of persons over 60 years of age have Helicobacter pylori. Most people are infected in childhood and in Australia the risk of becoming infected is now much less than in the past. There is no difference in infection rate between men and women. H. pylori is more common in older people and in certain ethnic populations (e.g. Middle Eastern, Asian and eastern European).

Facts About Helicobacter Pylori
Second Edition 2004


  • What is Helicobacter pylori?
  • How common is Helicobacter pylori infection in Australia?
  • How do I catch Helicobacter pylori?
  • How is Helicobacter pylori diagnosed?
  • What diseases does Helicobacter Pylori cause?
  • Who should be tested for Helicobacter Pylori?
  • How should Helicobacter Pylori be treated?
  • How do I know if the treatment has worked?
  • Am I likely to become infected again?
  • Do my family members need to be tested if I am infected?
  • Further questions


Facts About Helicobacter Pylori is now available as an A4 size pdf file.

Helicobacter Pylori (Adobe Acrobat PDF 160K)