Several clinical reports have demonstrated that Helicobacterpylori gastric infection has emerged as a new cause of refractory iron deficiency anemia, unresponsive to iron therapy, and not attributable to usual causes such as intestinal losses or poor intake, malabsorption or diversion of iron in the reticuloendothelial system. Although the interaction between infection and iron metabolism is now well consolidated, our understanding of the pathogenetic mechanism underlying the anemia is still wanting. Microbiological and ferrokinetic studies seem to suggest that Helicobacter pylori infected antrum could act as a sequestering focus for serum iron by means of outer membrane receptors of the bacterium, that in vitro are able to capture and utilize for growth iron from human lactoferrin. The proposed hypothesis does not answer why this complication is such a rare disease outcome in a common human infection but it may be used as a template for further controlled studies to determine the mechanisms of this atypical, medically important putative sequelae of H. pylori infection.
- H. pylori-related iron deficiency anemia
- Iron divertion
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