Type O Blood Group Individuals More Prone to Cholera Infections

If you’re a person with type O blood group, then beware! You may have frequent cholera attacks.

Why some people get affected by a disease more often than others? Is it your fate or blood group? It’s may be your blood group. The type of your blood can determine certain characteristics in you which can make up your biochemical individuality.

Type O Blood Group

Uniqueness of Type O Blood

Blood groups are of four types namely A, B, O and AB. These antigens determine the personality of an individual. If you have type O blood group, then you differ from all the other blood groups due to a unique quality.

O blood group people have two types of antibodies in the blood, one against type A antigen and another against type B antigen. This is considered as a defensive effect which allows them to donate blood to all individuals. That’s why Type O blood group people are termed as “Universal Blood Donors”.

Though it’s a universal advantage, this unique type of immunity makes the individual susceptible to many infections. Earlier studies have shown that people with type O blood group are highly prone to ulcers, thyroid disorders and intestinal problems.

A new study by researchers at the Washington University has found that people with type O blood may get affected severely by cholera than other blood groups.


Cholera is a bacterial infection caused by Vibrio cholera. It can lead to severe diarrhea and could be fatal if left untreated. World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 4.3 million people die due to cholera every year.

It can affect both children and adults, but 80% of affected individuals do not develop any symptoms even after 10 days of infection. Patients get dehydrated fast due to loss of fluids through frequent diarrhea. So, they need oral rehydration salts to hydrate body and prevent death.

Cholera spreads through contaminated food and water. Prevention is only by maintaining hygienic environments and adequate sanitation.

Type O Blood Group Link to Cholera

Researchers examined the effects of cholera antigen on intestinal epithelial stem cells called enteroids containing type A blood group and type O blood group.

Studies have shown that blood antigens are not only present in the red blood cells but also in the cells lining the intestine.

So, when cholera antigen was tested in A and O blood antigens, they found that levels of the signaling molecule were twice greater in the enteroids with the type O antigen than type A antigen.

Cholera Infections

Thus, authors concluded that people with type O antigen exposed to cholera toxin would suffer more severe diarrhea than other blood group people.

But, they did not identify the exact reason why cholera toxin triggered higher levels of signaling molecule only with O antigen and not other blood group antigens.

They assumed that cholera toxin binds weakly to ABO antigens so, it prevents its attack in the host. But comparing to AB antigens, O antigen could be less effective in preventing cholera infection.

Author: Don James

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