During the time of discovery of the Helicobacter pylori by Barry Marshall and Robin Warren in 1982, it was not believed that it’s the causative agent of gastritis and stomach ulcers. At that time, the conventional thinking was that no bacterium can live in the human stomach, as the stomach produced extensive amounts of acid with strength similar to the acid found in a car battery.
To clear the skepticism and demonstrate that H. pylori can indeed cause ulcers ans gastritis, Barry Marshall drank a beaker of H. pylori culture after having a baseline endoscopy done and thinking that ulcers will develop years later. He was surprised when, only three days later, he developed vague nausea and halitosis noticed by his mother. On days 5-8, he developed achlorydric (no acid) vomitting. On day eight, he had a repeat endoscopy and biopsy, which showed massive inflammation and H. pylori was cultured. On the fourteenth day, a third endoscopy was done and Marshall began to take antibiotics.
The bold move of Marshall suggested that H. pylori was the causative agent of gastritis and were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
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