Slide 1: Q: Which property of one’s blood type relays a risk of acquiring urinary tract infections?

Slide 2: A: Secretion of ABO antigens!

Slide 3: ABO typing is based on antigens found on RBCs. For some individuals, these antigens are also secreted in bodily fluids such as saliva, gastric fluids, and urine. There is evidence that secretion of these antigens may allow attachment and subsequent infection by not only urinary pathogens, but also gastric bacteria such as H. pylori.

Slide 4: There are many commercially available tests that allow for determination of a patient’s secretor status, usually profiled with blood type. However, since a majority of people in the world are ABO secretors, the clinical relevance of these findings is unclear.


  • Kinane DF, Blackwell CC, Brettle RP, Weir DM, Winstanley FP, Elton RA. ABO blood group, secretor state, and susceptibility to recurrent urinary tract infection in women. BMJ. 1982;285(6334):7-9. PMID 6805820.
  • Azevedo M, Eriksson S, Mendes N, et al. Infection by Helicobacter pylori expressing the BabA adhesin is influenced by the secretor phenotype. J Pathol. 2008;215(3):308-16. PMID 18498114.
  • Jaff MS. Higher frequency of secretor phenotype in O blood group – its benefits in prevention and/or treatment of some diseases. Int J Nanomedicine. 2010;5:901-5. PMID 21116330.

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