The Immune Response to Helicobacter pylori

Alojz Ihan* and Marija Gubina

Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical Faculty, Zaloška 4, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Article history
Received November 6, 2013
Accepted February 28, 2014

Key words
Helicobacter pylori, immune response, lymphocyte activation, vaccine construction


The immune response to Helicobacter pylori involves different mechanisms that are both protective and damaging to the host. The innate and the adaptive immune responses lead to inflammatory as well as anti-inflammatory responses, allowing for persistence of many infections. Thus, developing new therapeutics and effective vaccines against H. pylori has proven to be arduous. Despite many immunisation experiments, using various routes of immunisation with classical as well as recombinant H. pylori vaccines (urease, CagA, HP-NAP, HspA, DNA, chimeric molecules, live vectors, microspheres), no effective vaccine is currently available for humans. New directions for successful vaccine construction should follow a profound knowledge of immunopathological events during natural H. pylori infection and factors leading to resolution of infection: mandatory is a new knowledge about the interplay of the innate response to H. pylori, mucosal inflammation, H. pylori virulence factors inducing immune responses, regulation of the adaptive responses to H. pylori as well as construction of novel vaccine platforms for achieving a broad immune response, leading to a sterilizing immunity.

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