It's long been known that an individual's blood type influences his or her susceptibility to certain diseases like cancer, heart disease, allergies, diabetes, etc. There are four basic blood types namely, O, A, B, and AB.
A new study by researchers of Baylor College of Medicine suggests that blood type A may predispose a person to developing rotavirus infections.
Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide. Globally, it causes more than half a million deaths each year in children younger than 5 years of age. Rotavirus can also occur in adults but its infection is less common and usually less severe.
According to the researchers, the rotavirus attaches to the human cells, mediated by interactions with specific cellular glycans, namely type A histo-blood group antigen. However, cells that lacked this antigen were not easily infected.
This finding represents a new paradigm in understanding how this gut pathogen infects humans, but more studies are needed to confirm the connection between the rotavirus and antigens associated with the type A blood group, said Venkataram Prasad, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Baylor College of Medicine and the report's corresponding author.
The study was published April 15 in the journal Nature.
by RTT Staff Writer
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