Cholera that is also known as severe diarrhea mainly caused by Vibrio cholerae, a bacterium that infects cells of the small intestine, leads to dehydration, shock or even death in some cases. Though it affects people of each and every blood type, a new study has found that it is most severe in people with O blood type.
According to the study published in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the main reason behind that is ‘Cholera toxin hyperactivates’ that is said to be the key molecule in intestinal cells that affects the people according to their blood type.
In order to find the influence of cholera on different blood types, researchers used clusters of intestinal epithelial stem cells, called enteroids that can be grown in the lab and differentiated into mature intestinal cells.
Researchers further found that levels of the signaling molecule were roughly twice as high in the cells with the type O antigen than in the cells with type A antigen, suggesting that people with type O antigen who were exposed to cholera toxin would suffer more severe diarrhea.
Interestingly, the researchers took up the study when they noticed that about four decades ago that people with blood type O were more likely to be hospitalised for cholera than people of other blood types.
Unfortunately, cholera claims 1, 00,000 to 1, 20,000 lives per year out of which many belong to Indian subcontinent.