The Mechanisms Underlying Helicobacter Pylori-Mediated Protection against Allergic Asthma


1 Health Policy Research Center, Institute of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran,

2 Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Zanjan University of Medical Sciences, Zanjan, Iran

3 Research Center for Food Hygiene and Safety, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran


Helicobacter pylori, a gram negative pathogen, infects the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and causes pathological damage to these organs. H. pylori infection is more prevalent among people living in developing countries. Allergic asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways. Hyperinflation, hyperresponsiveness, and abnormal immunological and inflammatory processes in respiratory airways typically occur during an asthma attack. The results of recent studies have suggested an association between H. pylori and asthma risk. However, the role of H. pylori infection in the pathophysiology of asthma is still a matter of debate. The results of some studies indicate an association between H. pylori infection and protection against allergic asthma. Exposure to infectious agents might educate the immune system and provide protection against allergic diseases. H. pylori inflammation also changes gastric hormonal levels and could influence the autonomic nervous system. T-regs could be influenced by the immunological response to H. pylori and then inhibit the Th-2-mediated allergic response. Therefore, H. pylori might play a protective role against asthma. H. pylori can also reduce gastro-esophageal reflux, which is an asthma stimulator. High loads of H. pylori are not always present during infection. It is not definitely clear whether H. pylori is a pathogen or simply an opportunist. It has been suggested that early exposure to H. pylori prevents development of pediatric asthma. Therefore, it is possible that therapeutic products made from H. pylori can be used for the treatment or prevention of asthma.