Human Helicobacter pylori infection leads to multiple pathological consequences, including gastritis and adenocarcinoma. Although this association has led to the classification of H. pylori as a type 1 carcinogen, it is not clear if additional nonhelicobacter gastric microbiota play a role in these diseases. In this study, we utilized either specific pathogen-free C57BL/6 mice (B6.SPF) or mice colonized with altered Schaedler flora (B6.ASF) to evaluate the role of nonhelicobacter gastric microbiota in disease development after Helicobacter felis infection. Despite similar histological changes, H. felis persisted in B6.ASF stomachs, while H. felis could no longer be detected in the majority of B6.SPF mice. The B6.SPF mice also acquired multiple Lactobacillus spp. in their stomachs after H. felis infection. Our data indicate that potential mechanisms responsible for the ineffective H. felis clearance in the B6.ASF model include the absence of new gastric microbiota to compete for the gastric niche, the lack of expression of new gastric mucins, and a reduced ratio of H. felis-specific IgG2c:IgG1 serum antibodies. These data suggest that although H. felis is sufficient to initiate gastric inflammation and atrophy, bacterial eradication and the systemic immune response to infection are significantly influenced by pre-existing and acquired gastric microbiota. © The Author(s) 2011.