Is Stomach a Sterile Environment?
The stomach is considered a sterile organ for a long time due to anatomical and physiological features, till the discovery of Helicobacter pylori in 1982, which demolished the conception of sterile stomach. The pathogenicity of Helicobacter pylori is enhanced by several virulence factors. Initially, with the aid of culture-based techniques which were later followed by advanced culture-independent molecular techniques, whereby the complexity and biodiversity of gastric microbiota were revealed. Commensals, as well as pathogenic microbes have developed mechanisms to ensure successful colonization in the gastric environment. A number of published literature suggests the correlation of these bacteria with gastric diseases including gastric cancer and peptic ulcer disease as well as the beneficial relationships like probiotics. This review summarizes current information on the correlation of complexity and diversity of gastric microbiota and host in health and disease.