Your Blood Type Might Make You More Likely to Get Traveler’s Diarrhea
Published:24 May2018    Source:Science News

 E. coli has a type and it isn’t pretty. The bacterium is more likely to cause severe diarrhea in people with type A blood.

 

An illness-causing strain of E. coli secretes a protein that gloms onto the sugar molecules that decorate type A blood cells, but not type B or O cells. These sugar molecules also decorate cells lining the intestines of people with type A blood and appear to provide a handle for the bacterium to latch onto before injecting its diarrhea-causing toxins.

 

There were hints that blood type was linked to the severity of E. coli infection. But a clear connection was lacking until now, says a team led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.