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Research Project 2

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Local & Systemic Specific Immunity, Microbiome & H. pylori Infection in Children, Adults & the Elderly

Project Leader: Steven J. Czinn, MD 

This project is directed to address the overall hypothesis that the gastric mucosa harbors resident populations of non-Helicobacter bacteria that vary among individuals serve as important cofactors in determining the gastric health of the host. The hypothesis that these bacteria, together with the host immune response, work cumulatively to influence the incidence and character of gastric malignancies associated with H. pylori infection will also be evaluated.

These goals will be achieved by characterizing the immune responses to H. pylori antigens in children, adults and the elderly undergoing diagnostic esophagogastroduodenoscopy for presumptive H. pylori infection. Since adults are relatively resistant to H. pylori infection, these studies will enable us to assess the relative importance of the key effector immune responses in influencing the development of H. pylori infection in children and the elderly.

The importance of the gastric microbiome in influencing the development and the degree of inflammation associated with H. pylori infection, as well as the role of specific immunity and gastric microflora -- either in isolation or in concert with H. pylori infection -- in influencing the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease, dyspepsia, gastric ulcers, duodenal ulcers and gastric cancer in children, adults and the elderly will also be addressed.

The results from these studies will greatly advance the knowledge of mucosal immunity and microbiota in H. pylori infection in humans and might lead to new therapeutic modalities.