... is the name of a bacteria (bacterium actually), that can be found within the stomach wall in humans, and other species including dogs and cats. They thrive in the acidic environment of the stomach, which caused a sensation when first proposed, as it was believed that nothing could survive in an environment with such a low pH. That is not the case.
This bacterium, which literally, reminds me of a helicopter due to its propeller-like flagellum, is responsible for over 90 percent of cases of peptic ulcers and other serious gastrointestinal disorders in humans. Ulceration is cured with the eradication of the infection. Period. Barry Marshall, an Australian scientist, went so far as to infect himself with the bacteria in order to prove his theory. Indeed, he became severely ill and developed gastric ulcers. For his work, in 2005, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Dr. Marshall and his long-time collaborator Dr. Warren "for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease".
Interestingly, the role of Helicobacter infection in dogs and cats is not known. Many clinically healthy dogs and cats harbor Helicobacter in their gut - and show no signs of disease. However, some dogs and cats with clinical and histological (sections of tissue) evidence of inflammatory bowel disease/chronic gastritis also show the presence of Helicobacter bacteria in their GI tissues. Just FYI, Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease in humans.
So what to do? Thus far, it is recommended to treat the Helicobacter infection first. If symptoms disappear: great. If not, treatment for inflammatory bowel disease is instituted, consisting mainly of immunosuppressive doses of prednisone or prednisolone.
I have just recently diagnosed a cat with inflammatory bowel disease with evidence of a concurrent Helicobacter infection.
My plan is to treat for Helicobacter infection, then re-evaluate. It will be interesting to see what develops.
Little spirally helicopters.
More FYI: Heliko = spiral or helix in Greek.