Ulcerative bacteria

Published: Saturday 15 October 1994

Stomach ulcers have long been associated with excess gastric acid in the stomach. But researchers at Monash University at Melbourne have identified a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, as the culprit, for which they have devised a week-long treatment (Australian Science and Technology Newsletter, August, 1994).

The conventional treatment of stomach ulcers entails taking drugs to suppress the formation of gastric acid. This, however, provides only temporary relief and the ailment surfaces again within a year.

John Lambert and his colleagues have also identified 6 strains of lactobacilli that reside in the human gut and can knock the Helicobacter out of action. Yoghurts containing these lactobacilli and 2 antibiotics are under preparation to fight the Helicobacter.

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