For more than 10 years a vaccine against Helicobacter pylori has been the elusive goal of many investigators. The need for a vaccine was highlighted when eradication attempts in developing countries were foiled by reinfection rates of 15-30% per annum. In addition, physicians in developed countries were concerned that attempts at total eradication of H. pylori would result in widespread macrolide resistance in both H. pylori and other important pathogens. Although attempts to produce vaccines against H. pylori have failed in their ultimate goal, considerable knowledge has been developed on the pathogenesis and immunology of Helicobacter infections. In this article we describe an alternative use for this new knowledge, i.e. a plan to use live Helicobacter species to deliver vaccines against other organisms. Because of its intimate attachment to the gastric mucosa and long-term residence there, H. pylori might succeed as an antigen delivery system, a goal which has eluded most other strategies of nonparenteral vaccination.