Saturday, April 21, 2012
cienceDaily (Apr. 15, 2012) — Whether you become infected by some strains of rotavirus may depend on your blood type. Some strains of rotavirus find their way into the cells of the gastrointestinal tract by recognizing antigens associated with the type A blood group, a finding that represents a new paradigm in understanding how this gut pathogen infects humans, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers in an online report in the journal Nature.
Rotavirus is a major intestinal pathogen that is the leading cause of severe dehydration and diarrhea in infants around the world. An estimated 500,000 people worldwide die from the infection annually.
This finding raises questions about why humans developed different blood groups, Prasad said. It may be an evolutionary change that occurred after the pathogen first invaded human cells.