Blood type may increase risk of 'stomach bug' infection
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A person's blood type may influence their susceptibility to infection with rotavirus, a type of stomach bug, a new study suggests.

The results show that certain strains of rotavirus attach to cells by binding to "A antigen" - a marker on the surface of cells in people with blood types A and AB. The first step of infection is attachment to the cell.

People with these blood types have the "A antigen" not only on their blood cells, but also on the cells that line the gastrointestinal tract, which rotavirus attacks.

This means its possible that people with blood types A and AB are more susceptible to rotavirus infections, but it's too soon to draw firm conclusions, said study researcher B. V. Venkataram Prasad, a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. For one thing, the virus strains that were found to attach to A antigen are not the most common strains of rotavirus. It's possible the most common strains preferentially infect people with blood type B, for example.


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