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J Virol. 2005 Dec;79(24):15351-5.

A homozygous nonsense mutation (428G-->A) in the human secretor (FUT2) gene provides resistance to symptomatic norovirus (GGII) infections.

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Department of Virology, Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Solna, Sweden.


Noroviruses (formerly Norwalk-like viruses) are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis worldwide and are associated with a significant number of nosocomial and food-borne outbreaks. In this study we show that the human secretor FUT2 gene, which codes for an alpha(1,2)-fucosyltransferase synthesizing the H-type 1 antigen in saliva and mucosa, is associated with susceptibility to norovirus infections. Allelic polymorphism characterization at nucleotide 428 for symptomatic (n = 53) and asymptomatic (n = 62) individuals associated with nosocomial and sporadic norovirus outbreaks revealed that homozygous nonsense mutation (428G-->A) in FUT2 segregated with complete resistance for the disease. Of all symptomatic individuals, 49% were homozygous (SeSe) and 51% heterozygous (Sese428) secretors, and none were secretor negative (se428se428), in contrast to 20% nonsecretors (se428se428) among Swedish blood donors (n = 104) (P < 0.0002) and 29% for asymptomatic individuals associated with nosocomial outbreaks (P < 0.00001). Furthermore, saliva from secretor-positive and symptomatic patients but not from secretor-negative and asymptomatic individuals bound the norovirus strain responsible for that particular outbreak. This is the first report showing that the FUT2 nonsecretor (se428se428) genotype is associated with resistance to nosocomial and sporadic outbreaks with norovirus.

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