Gastric Microbiota: Tracing the Culprit
The gastric environment has been long time considered bacteria-free, but the discovery of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in 1982 superseded this conception. Over the last decades new diagnostic methods have been developed, starting with culture-dependent and advancing to culture-independent ones. These modern techniques provide new insight into the composition and influence of this ecosystem on the entire gastrointestinal tract. H. pylori is no longer considered the only microorganism in the stomach, other non-H. pylori microbial species may populate the same environment and exercise their role. Current knowledge suggests possible links of these bacteria with gastroduodenal diseases, such as peptic ulcer and gastric cancer but most of them need further scientific evidence. This review summarizes current information on these complex interrelations between gastric microbial communities and host in health and disease.