30th anniversary of the European helicobacter & microbiota study group!
It is a big step for those who in 1987 followed the path opened by Barry Marshall and Robin Warren 5 years earlier! They were young and enthusiastic enough to create a European group dedicated to the new bacterium Helicobacter pylori. I am proud to be one of them and to have contributed to improve the knowledge of this major pathogen for humans. The concept that most diseases of the stomach were indeed the consequence of an infection has really been a breakthrough and changed the paradigm in this area of Medicine.
Research on H. pylori which is rich, with more than 40,000 published articles, has also opened new fields in other areas such as taxonomy, where H. pylori can be considered as the leader of the microaerophilic bacteria named Epsilonproteo bacteria; diagnosis with the development, for the first time, of a test based on non radioactive isotopes, the urea breath test; and even outside Medicine where H. pylori as a “man follower” is being now considered as an important tool to decipher routes of migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa.
Another important discovery, occurring later, is the role of our other bacteria which are present in the whole gut! This group of billions of living organisms is now considered as an organ per se, with many consequences on our physiology and sometimes pathology. It was therefore logical that our group includes them in its field of investigation, given that the outcome of H. pylori in the stomach as well as the impact of antibiotic therapies in the gut is indeed dependent on these bacteria.
The 30th Congress of the EHMSG is back in Bordeaux where it was organized for the first time in 1988. Our group is happy to provide you with the most significant update in the area of H. pylori infections and gut microbiota. You will find in this issue the traditional review of the literature and the abstracts selected for both oral and poster presentations at the meeting.
President of the EHMSG
Bacteriology laboratory, National Reference Center for Helicobacters, CHU de Bordeaux, France