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Severity of Diarrhoea is Affected by the Blood Types

Enterotoxigenic E. coli are responsible for millions of cases of diarrhoea and hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, mainly of young children.

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More than eight of 10 (81 per cent) blood group A people developed diarrhoea that required treatment, as compared with about half of people with blood group B or O.
Advancements in the medical field. Pixabay.
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A bacteria associated with travellers’ diarrhoea and children in underdeveloped areas of the world causes more severe disease in people with blood type A but not blood type O or B, finds a study.

Enterotoxigenic E. coli are responsible for millions of cases of diarrhoea and hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, mainly of young children.
Types of Blood. Pixabay.

Enterotoxigenic E. coli are responsible for millions of cases of diarrhoea and hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, mainly of young children.

The bacteria release a protein that latches onto intestinal cells in people with blood type A, but not blood type O or B.

A vaccine targeting that protein could potentially protect people with type A blood against the deadliest effects of enterotoxigenic E. coli (Escherichia coli) infection.

“We think this protein is responsible for this blood-group difference in disease severity,” said James Fleckenstein, Associate Professor at the Washington University in St. Louis.

“A vaccine targeting this protein would potentially protect the individuals at highest risk for severe disease.”

For the study, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, the team gave healthy volunteers a dose of an E. coli strain originally isolated from a person in Bangladesh with severe, cholera-like diarrhoea.

They observed the volunteers for five days and obtained data and blood samples from over 100 people and found that people with blood type A got sick sooner and more seriously than those of other blood types.

More than eight of 10 (81 per cent) blood group A people developed diarrhoea that required treatment, as compared with about half of people with blood group B or O.

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The researchers also found that the bacteria produce a specific protein that sticks to A-type sugars – but not B or O-type sugars – on intestinal cells.

Since the protein also sticks to E. coli, it effectively fastens the bacteria to the intestinal wall, making it easy for them to deliver diarrhoea-causing toxins to intestinal cells.

The effect of blood group in people infected with this strain of E. coli was striking and significant, but it doesn’t mean people should change their behaviour based on blood type, the researchers said. IANS.

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Sudan Suffers From A Chikungunya Outbreak

Activists on social media said the number of people infected by the disease was much higher than the government's figure and that there had been deaths not documented by the government.

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A woman sits inside a mosquito tent in the town of Abyei, Sudan. VOA

More than 11,000 people in Sudan’s eastern state of Kassala have been infected over the past month by Chikungunya, a debilitating mosquito-borne viral disease, but no deaths have been reported, a Sudanese official said Tuesday.

Chikungunya is spread by two mosquito species and can cause severe symptoms, which develop three to seven days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. They include high fever, headache, muscle pain, back pain and rash. In rare cases, it is fatal. There are no dedicated treatments or vaccines for Chikungunya.

“So far official statistics say that about 11,000 people were infected, and there haven’t been any documented cases of death because of the Chikungunya fever,” said Magzoub Abou Moussa, a spokesman for the Kassala state administration.

Chikungunya
Omar al Bashir, President of Sudan, wikimedia commons

Heavy rains

The outbreak began in recent weeks when heavy rains pummeled the area, which led to the flooding of a major river in Kassala.

Abou Moussa said his state had received health and technical aid from Sudan’s health ministry, but expressed concern over the spread of the virus and called for further help.

Eyewitnesses said they had seen planes on Monday sweeping over the state, spraying mosquito pesticides.

Sudanese opposition parties have accused the government of failing to deal with the situation in Kassala and called for international organizations’ help.

chikungunya
Women sit in line on the ground waiting to receive food distributed by the World Food Program (WFP) in Padeah, South Sudan, March 1, 2017. VOA

“We hold the government fully responsible for the spread of the epidemic,” said a statement from the National Umma Party, the largest opposition party. “We call on civil society organizations and the World Health Organization to help the people of Kassala.”

Also Read: Sudan Stops 13 Diplomatic and 4 Consular Missions Due to Financial Crisis

Activists on social media said the number of people infected by the disease was much higher than the government’s figure and that there had been deaths not documented by the government. (VOA)