Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
P NATL ACAD SCI USA
Journal title long:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The FUT2 (Secretor) gene is responsible for the presence of ABO histo-blood group antigens on the gastrointestinal mucosa and in bodily secretions. Individuals lacking a functional copy of FUT2 are known as "nonsecretors" and display an array of differences in susceptibility to infection and disease, including Crohn disease. To determine whether variation in resident microbial communities with respect to FUT2 genotype is a potential factor contributing to susceptibility, we performed 454-based community profiling of the intestinal microbiota in a panel of healthy subjects and Crohn disease patients and determined their genotype for the primary nonsecretor allele in Caucasian populations, W143X (G428A). Consistent with previous studies, we observe significant deviations in the microbial communities of individuals with Crohn disease. Furthermore, the FUT2 genotype explains substantial differences in community composition, diversity, and structure, and we identified several bacterial species displaying disease-by-genotype associations. These findings indicate that alterations in resident microbial communities may in part explain the variety of host susceptibilities surrounding nonsecretor status and that FUT2 is an important genetic factor influencing host-microbial diversity.