“The reduced efficacy of current therapies could maintain the high incidence rates of gastric cancer and other conditions such as peptic ulcer disease, if drug resistance continues to increase at this pace.”
H. pylori is one of the most common infections, present in up to one in two people. It can cause inflammation of the stomach lining, or gastritis, leading to peptic ulcers. The condition affects up to one in 15 people in the UK alone.
The bacteria is also the most important risk factor for gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer – the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide. In Britain, an estimated 6,700 cases of gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer, are diagnosed each year, claiming around 4,400 lives annually.
In Ireland, more than a quarter of patients (25.6 per cent) were resistant to clarithromycin, the main drug for the bacteria – compared to just one in 20 (five per cent) in Denmark.
UK data was not analysed as part of the research. Last year the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned superbugs will be killing about 1.3 million people in Europe – including 90,000 in Britain – by 2050.