Association of Secretor Status with Enteropathy and Growth among Children in Bangladesh Aged 1–24 Months

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  • 1 Nutrition and Clinical Services Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh (icddr,b);
  • | 2 Emerging Infections and Parasitology Laboratory, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh (icddr,b)

Secretor status refers to the ability of an individual to secrete blood group antigens into body fluids and onto the different epithelial surfaces. Concurrent findings have demonstrated an association of the secretor status of children with susceptibility to a plethora of enteropathogens. We aimed to determine a possible association of secretor status of children with childhood enteropathy, an important causal factor for childhood growth failure. Participants of the MAL-ED birth cohort study from the Bangladesh site were enrolled along with their mothers. Saliva was analyzed for determining blood groups and secretor status of the children and their mothers by using an in-house ELISA. Approximately 59% of children and 65% of mothers were found to be secretor positive. Secretor-positive children were found to have a significantly positive association with alpha-1-antitrypsin (β-coefficient: 0.11, 95% CI: 0.07, 0.21, P < 0.01) and with environmental enteric dysfunction score (β-coefficient: 0.32, 95% CI: 0.29, 0.65, P = 0.05). However, despite a negative effect size, secretor-positive children did not show any statistical significance with length-for-age and weight-for-age z scores (LAZ and WAZ), respectively. Our findings indicate toward the genetic factor of secretor status of children being associated with childhood growth faltering, through increased susceptibility to distinct enteropathogens and the consequent development of enteric inflammation and enteropathy among children. However, these findings are only applicable in Bangladeshi settings and thus need to be validated in several other similar settings, to establish a possible relationship between the secretor status of children with enteropathy and resulting childhood growth failure.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Mustafa Mahfuz, Nutrition and Clinical Services Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, 68, Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sarani, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh. E-mail: mustafa@icddrb.org

Disclaimer: Data related to this manuscript are available upon request and for researchers who meet the criteria for access to confidential data may contact with Armana Ahmed (armana@icddrb.org) of the Research Administration of icddr,b (http://www.icddrb.org/).

Financial support: This work was supported, in whole or in part, by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Grant no. OPP47075). Under the grant conditions of the Foundation, a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic License has already been assigned to the Author Accepted Manuscript version that might arise from this submission.

Authors’ addresses: Parag Palit, Mondar Maruf Moin Ahmed, Md Amran Gazi, Md Ahshanul Haque, Md Ashraful Alam, Mustafa Mahfuz, and Tahmeed Ahmed, Nutrition and Clinical Services Division, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mails: parag.palit@icddrb.org, novo24@gmail.com, amran.gazi@icddrb.org, ahshanul.haque@icddrb.org, mashraful@icddrb.org, mustafa@icddrb.org, and tahmeed@icddrb.org. Rashidul Haque, Emerging Infections and Parasitology Laboratory, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mail: rhaque@icddrb.org.

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