Helicobacter pylori and skin autoimmune diseases Academic Article uri icon


  • Autoimmune skin diseases are characterized by dysregulation of the immune system resulting in a loss of tolerance to skin self-antigen(s). The prolonged interaction between the bacterium and host immune mechanisms makes Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) a plausible infectious agent for triggering autoimmunity. Epidemiological and experimental data now point to a strong relation of H. pylori infection on the development of many extragastric diseases, including several allergic and autoimmune diseases. H. pylori antigens activate cross-reactive T cells and induce autoantibodies production. Microbial heat shock proteins (HSP) play an important role of in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases because of the high level of sequence homology with human HSP. Eradication of H. pylori infection has been shown to be effective in some patients with chronic autoimmune urticaria, psoriasis, alopecia areata and Schoenlein-Henoch purpura. There is conflicting and controversial data regarding the association of H. pylori infection with Beh├žet's disease, scleroderma and autoimmune bullous diseases. No data are available evaluating the association of H. pylori infection with other skin autoimmune diseases, such as vitiligo, cutaneous lupus erythematosus and dermatomyositis. The epidemiological and experimental evidence for a possible role of H. pylori infection in skin autoimmune diseases are the subject of this review.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014