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J Infect Dis. 2005 Sep 15;192(6):1071-7. Epub 2005 Aug 9.

Influence of the combined ABO, FUT2, and FUT3 polymorphism on susceptibility to Norwalk virus attachment.

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INSERM U601, Institut de Biologie, Nantes, France.


The binding of Norwalk virus (NV) recombinant capsids was tested in a panel of saliva samples collected from 96 donors with different ABO, secretor, and Lewis phenotypes. As previously reported, binding occurred specifically to saliva from secretors, regardless of their Lewis phenotype status. Blood group B saliva was poorly recognized, whereas binding to blood group O saliva was higher and binding to blood group A saliva was highest. Transfection of either blood group A or B enzyme into H epitope-expressing cells showed that masking of H epitopes by the A and B antigens blocked the attachment of NV capsids. The high level of binding to blood group A secretor saliva could be explained by an optimal H type 1 ligand density, which was lower than that in blood group O saliva and much higher than that in blood group B saliva. Indeed, despite a higher ligand density, saliva from homozygotes with 2 functional FUT2 alleles was less strongly recognized than saliva from heterozygotes with 1 functional and 1 inactivated FUT2 allele. Partial fucosidase treatment of duodenal tissue sections and binding to a synthetic probe with varying densities of H type 1 trisaccharide indicated that optimal attachment occurred at medium ligand density.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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