Documented evidence relating to the survival of Helicobacter pylori outside the gastric niche is extremely limited. To date the primary transmission routes of H. pylori have yet to be confirmed and when this is achieved preventive infection control measures can be implemented to reduce and ultimately prevent human infection from this pathogen. There is mounting evidence which suggests that the prevalence of H. pylori infection has a strong correlation with access to clean water, suggesting a transmission route to the host. However, there are no established culture methods for the detection of viable H. pylori in the environment, in particular drinking water supplies, preventing the development of true epidemiological and risk assessments. The aim of this review is to highlight the available data to date that suggests drinking water and possible survival in biofilms as a probable transmission mode for H. pylori.

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