Table 2

Characteristics of the stomach and of H pylori consistent with indigenous colonisation

The stomach contains multiple micro niches
H pylori is acquired in early childhood
Substantial numbers of H pylori colonise the stomach
There is notable diversity within Helicobacter species in humans
H pylori populations remain stable in the stomach for decades
Cocolonisation with differentHelicobacter strains and/or with clonal variants leads to both competition and at least to genetic exchange
A symbiotic relationship between H pylori and humans has been postulated