Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori ) neutrophil-activating protein (HP-NAP) was originally identified as a virulence factor of H. pylori for its ability to activate neutrophils to generate respiratory burst by releasing reactive oxygen species. Later on, HP-NAP was also found to be involved in the protection of H. pylori from DNA damage, supporting the survival of H. pylori under oxidative stress. This protein is highly conserved and expressed by virtually all clinical isolates of H. pylori . The majority of patients infected with H. pylori produced antibodies specific for HP-NAP, suggesting its important role in immunity. In addition to acting as a pathogenic factor by activating the innate immunity through a wide range of human leukocytes, including neutrophils, monocytes, and mast cells, HP-NAP also mediates adaptive immunity through the induction of T helper cell type Ⅰ responses. The pro-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties of HP-NAP not only make it play an important role in disease pathogenesis but also make it a potential candidate for clinical use. Even though there is no convincing evidence to link HP-NAP to a disease outcome, recent findings supporting the pathogenic role of HP-NAP will be reviewed. In WJG 20th Anniversary Special Issues (6): Helicobacter pylori TOPIC HIGHLIGHT addition, the potential clinical applications of HP-NAP in vaccine development, clinical diagnosis, and drug development will be discussed.