New Study Reveals Link between Blood Type A and Traveler’s Diarrhea

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According to the Researchers from Washington University, traveler’s diarrhea is more severe in people with blood type A.

Traveler’s diarrhea is digestive track disorder caused due to climatic and sanitary chances from a foreign surrounding. A new study by Washington University School of Medicine reveals that people with blood type A have severe chances of acquiring traveler’s diarrhea than other blood types O or B. The E. coli bacteria that causes the disease releases a protein that latches to intestinal cells. The intensity of this phenomenon is seen more in blood type A, as the protein is responsible for blood group differences. Several cases of diarrhea caused by Enteroroxigenic E. coil are fatal. Majority of deaths include children. Primary targets include people residing or travelling in emerging economies.  Symptoms include acute cholera such as watery diarrhea that can be fatal. Few people experience unpleasantness while some have no effect at all.

A group of healthy volunteers were injected with a dose of E. coli strain abstracted from a patient in Bangladesh, who had cholera like diarrhea in a controlled human infection clinical trials. The volunteers were kept under strict observation for five days. Antibiotics were administered to those who developed moderate to severe diarrhea. As the disease is a quick reactor, those who remained healthy even after the end of five days were unlikely to acquire the disease later. Antibiotics were given to these volunteers before discharging to eliminate the chances of getting sick. The data from the trials was analyzed by studying the blood samples. It was found that 80 percent of the volunteers with blood type A were severely affected by diarrhea.

Blood groups are divided according to the sugars that cover their surface. Blood type A had sugars that stuck the most to the proteins produced by the bacteria. The study could be helpful in developing better vaccines. The report was published on May 17, 2018, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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