Vanderbilt University researchers have characterized an H. pylori specific gene, dapE, which can be used to generate novel, targeted therapeutics for H. pylori-induced infections in the stomach. The gene encodes an enzyme responsible for the synthesis of the amino acid lysine. Most bacterial species have redundant pathways for amino acid synthesis because they are essential for life, however H. pylori is unique in that it has only one pathway for lysine biosynthesis. In an era when antibiotic resistance has become a significant hurdle in combating bacterial infections, this gene target provides a new, antibiotic independent, modality to combat H. pylori infection. Conditionally-mutant DapE H. pylori strains can be licensed directly for use as a research tool.