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FUT2 non-secretor status is associated with altered susceptibility to symptomatic enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infection in Bangladeshiw

Journal article
Authors Lynda Mottram
Gudrun Wiklund
Göran Larson
F. Qadri
Ann-Mari Svennerholm
Published in Scientific Reports
Volume 7
Issue 1
ISSN 2045-2322
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Language en
Keywords blood-group antigens, rotavirus gastroenteritis, helicobacter-pylori, nonsense mutation, crohns-disease, group system, children, lewis, polymorphisms, individuals
Subject categories Infectious Medicine


Polymorphisms of the FUT2 gene alters glycan ABO(H) blood group and Lewis antigen expression (commonly known as non-secretor status) in the small intestinal mucosa. Whilst non-secretor status affects 20% of the population worldwide, it has been reported to be present in up to 40% of all Bangladeshis. Furthermore, Bangladeshi children are reportedly more susceptible to symptomatic enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infection if they are non-secretors. Therefore, in an attempt to identify a non-secretor status genotypic biomarker of altered susceptibility to ETEC infection, we used the 1000 Genomes Project to identify three population related non-synonymous FUT2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We then assessed the genotypic frequency of these SNPs in Bangladeshi children who had been clinically monitored for ETEC infection. One novel missense FUT2 SNP, rs200157007-TT and the earlier established rs601338-AA SNP were shown to be causing non-secretor status, with these SNPs being associated with symptomatic but not asymptomatic ETEC infection. Moreover, rs200157007-TT and rs601338-AA were associated with symptomatic but not asymptomatic ETEC infection irrespective of the child's Lewis secretor status, suggesting FUT2, the regulator of Lewis and ABO(H) antigens in the intestinal mucosa, could be a host genotypic feature affecting susceptibility to ETEC infection.

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