New hope for lung disease sufferers... in a stomach bug: Bacteria that is common among patients with pulmonary conditions is detected by a simple breath test and can treated with antibiotics (St. Paul's Hospital)

Disabling lung disease may be triggered by a common stomach bug, groundbreaking research has found.

The bacteria helicobacter pylori, which is involved in the development of stomach ulcers, has been found to be common in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

‘Our findings raise the tantalising possibility that early eradication of helicobacter pylori in childhood may enable full development of lungs and reduce the risk of COPD later on in life,’ says Professor Don Sin, head of respiratory medicine, St Paul’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at University of British Columbia, Canada, and senior author of a paper in the medical journal Thorax.

Roger Dobson reports

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