Secretor Status DNA Test

A person can be either a secretor or a nonsecretor depending on whether the person secretes their blood type antigens into the body fluids, such as saliva, mucus (in digestive tract and respiratory cavities), tears, sweat, etc.
Approximately 80% of the general population are secretors and 20% are nonsecretors.

The determination of secretor status is important because secretor status is associated with a wide variety of diseases (like urinary tract infections, diabetes, digestive disorders, etc.). In addition, diet plan can be individualized based on whether person is a secretor or a nonsecretor. Adjusted and proper diet may help a person not only to lose weight but also to reduce risk of certain diseases associated to a particular secretor status. Knowing secretor status is essential in defining blood type diet.

The secretor status determination is based on the pyrosequencing FUT2 gene (fucosyltransferase 2 enzyme).

Blood groups are determined by proteins (antigens; A, B, 0) on the surface of the red blood cells. In most people these antigens are also expressed on the surface of other cell types, including cells that line our mouth, gut and stomach. Two genes are involved in placing the antigens on different cell types: FUT1 for red blood cells and FUT2 for other cells (mucosal tissues and saliva). As a result of mutations in both alleles of a FUT2 gene, antigens are not expressed on the surface of cells in gut tissue. Individuals who have that mutation are called nonsecretors and are extremely resistant to most strains of norovirus - a virus that causes stomach flu (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness, muscle aches, headache, coughs, low-grade fever). Most noroviruses attach to the antigens (A, B, O) on the surface of cells, using this to invade. If these antigens are not present, as is the case with nonsecretors, then virus cannot invade.

 

Figure 1: Blood groups are determined by proteins (antigen; A, B, 0) on the surface of the red cells. In most people these antigens are also expressed on the surface of other cell types (including cells that line our gut and stomach). People who carry antigens on surface of their cells are called secretors and people who do not carry antigens on surface of their cells (due to a mutation in the FUT2 gene) are called nonsecretors.

Figure 2: Secretors express their antigens on the surface of gut tissue cells. Norovirus uses these antigens to recognize and enter the cells. As a result, nonsecretors (who do not have these antigens in gut tissue) are extremely resistant to the virus - the virus cannot find the cell, and thus cannot infect it.

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