The symptomatology of a case of acute infection with Helicobacter pylori is described, together with the accompanying changes in gastric mucosal histology, local and systemic humoral immune response, and gastric ascorbic acid concentration. The patient was an endoscopist, previously negative for the carbon-14 urea breath test, who had a week of epigastric pain and then became asymptomatic. H pylori was detected by culture of antral biopsy specimens and was still present after 74 days. Five days after infection the histological findings showed acute neutrophilic gastritis; by day 74 changes of chronic gastritis were evident. The patient seroconverted by IgG enzyme linked immunosorbent assay by day 74, but a mucosal IgM and IgA response was evident as early as day 14. Infection was accompanied by a transient hypochlorhydria but a sustained fall in gastric juice ascorbic acid concentration.
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