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FEMS Microbiol Immunol. 1989 Jun;1(6-7):401-5.

Non-secretion of blood group antigens and susceptibility to infection by Candida species.

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  • 1Department of Bacteriology, University of Edinburgh, U.K.


One of the innate defences against superficial infections by Candida species appears to be the ability of an individual to secrete the water-soluble form of his ABO blood group antigens into body fluids. There was a significantly higher number of non-secretors (48.9%) among 174 patients with either oral or vaginal candida infections compared with the proportion of non-secretors in the local population (26.6%). The protective effect afforded by the secretor gene might be due to the ability of glycocompounds in the body fluids of secretors to inhibit adhesins on the surface of the yeast. In attachment studies, preincubation of blastospores with boiled secretor saliva significantly reduced their ability to bind to epithelial cells. Non-secretor saliva did not reduce the binding and often enhanced the numbers of attached yeasts. Possible host-parasite interactions underlying the susceptibility of non-secretors to candida and other infections are discussed.

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