The story of Helicobacter pylori, ulcers and cancer

Posted by Ed 37 days ago,c_limit,f_webp,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/
Above; Demonstration of Helicobacter pylori by the four staining methods: (A) modified Giemsa, (B) anti-H pylori antibody immunostain, (C) modified McMullen's method, (D) H pylori silver staining (HpSS) method.

From Barry Marshall the ‘male volunteer’ who implicated helicobacter pylori in gastritis and stomach ulcer (my comments in brackets and italics);

‘However, I had been arguing with the skeptics for two years and had no animal (pig) model that could prove H pylori was a pathogen. If I was right, then anyone was susceptible to the bug and would develop gastritis and maybe an ulcer years later.

I could see that bismuth (affects H pylori) was healing gastritis, albeit temporarily, but I had no convincing data to prove the bacteria were indeed pathogens. The experiment was planned with a culture from a patient with dyspepsia and confirmation that it was sensitive to metronidazole. The paper was published in the third person, but it gradually became known that the ‘male volunteer’ was me.

Then I underwent endoscopy in early July 1984 to confirm that I was negative for H pylori. Three weeks later, I drank the ‘brew’ which was a suspension of two culture plates of the organism. (NB THERE WAS NO CONTROL EXPERIMENT of a cell culture ‘infected’ with a different bacteria or minus bacteria.) If only I knew that people would be so interested, I would have taken a photograph!
I omitted my breakfast but took 400 mg of cimetidine, believing that the infection might be easier if my stomach acid level was lowered. Two hours later, Neil Noakes scraped a heavily inoculated 4 day culture plate of Helicobacter and dispersed the bacteria in alkaline peptone water; a kind of meat broth used to keep bacteria alive.
I fasted until 10 am when Neil handed me a 200 ml beaker about one quarter full of the cloudy brown liquid. I drank it down in one gulp (NOT ANYTHING THAT WOULD EVER HAPPEN IN NATURE). 

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