The study findings were limited by several factors, including the use of higher levels of bacteria to cause the infection than a typical exposure in nature. Also, the volunteers were treated with antibiotics once they met the criteria for severe diarrhea.
The researchers also noted that other blood group A lectins in addition to EtpA may not have been identified.
“While our recent studies have potentially important clinical and [vaccinological] implications, further study of the relationship between blood group, disease severity, and antigen expression could guide and inform use of these antigens in vaccines,” they wrote.
The study was supported by funds from the Enteric Vaccine Initiative of PATH, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the Digestive Diseases Research Core Center at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.
SOURCE: Kumar P et al. J Clin Invest. 2018 May 17. .