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Logo of bmcmicrBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Microbiology
BMC Microbiol. 2012; 12: 94.
Published online Jun 6, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1471-2180-12-94
PMCID: PMC3485159
Association between the ABO blood group and the human intestinal microbiota composition
Harri Mäkivuokko,corresponding author1 Sampo J Lahtinen,2 Pirjo Wacklin,1 Elina Tuovinen,1 Heli Tenkanen,1 Janne Nikkilä,1 Marika Björklund,2 Kari Aranko,1 Arthur C Ouwehand,2 and Jaana Mättö1
1The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki, 00310, Finland
2Danisco Health & Nutrition, Kantvik, 02460, Finland
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Harri Mäkivuokko: harri.makivuokko/at/; Sampo J Lahtinen: sampo.lahtinen/at/; Pirjo Wacklin: pirjo.wacklin/at/; Elina Tuovinen: elina.tuovinen/at/; Heli Tenkanen: heli.tenkanen/at/; Janne Nikkilä: janne.nikkila/at/; Marika Björklund: marika.bjorklund/at/; Kari Aranko: kari.aranko/at/; Arthur C Ouwehand: arthur.ouwehand/at/; Jaana Mättö: jaana.matto/at/
Received December 23, 2011; Accepted May 28, 2012.
The mucus layer covering the human intestinal epithelium forms a dynamic surface for host-microbial interactions. In addition to the environmental factors affecting the intestinal equilibrium, such as diet, it is well established that the microbiota composition is individually driven, but the host factors determining the composition have remained unresolved.
In this study, we show that ABO blood group is involved in differences in relative proportion and overall profiles of intestinal microbiota. Specifically, the microbiota from the individuals harbouring the B antigen (secretor B and AB) differed from the non-B antigen groups and also showed higher diversity of the Eubacterium rectale-Clostridium coccoides (EREC) and Clostridium leptum (CLEPT) -groups in comparison with other blood groups.
Our novel finding indicates that the ABO blood group is one of the genetically determined host factors modulating the composition of the human intestinal microbiota, thus enabling new applications in the field of personalized nutrition and medicine.
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