Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Bacteria in Drinking Water Linked Directly to Stomach Ulcers

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Bacteria in Drinking Water Linked Directly to Stomach Ulcers

Article excerpt

From Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg, researchers report that they have for the first time found a direct link between a bacterium in Pennsylvania drinking water and stomach ulcers.

The research team, headed by Katherine H. Baker, Ph.D., assistant professor of environmental microbiology, has tied Helicobacter pylori in well water to clinical infections in people drinking from that supply. (H. pylori already has been linked indirectly to at least 75 percent of all stomach ulcers and two types of stomach cancers.)

The researchers made the association through tests of private wells supplying drinking water to individual households. Interviews with residents who consumed the water found a statistically significant correlation between the presence of the bacterium and cases of stomach ulcers.

Dr. Baker said drinking water generally is considered safe when coliform bacteria are not present. But the ulcer-causing bacterium was found in coliform-free water samples. "What this really means is that our current methods for testing drinking water may be saying that the water is fine while H. …

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