Holidays: sun, the beach, a change of scenery, local cuisine, and… constantly travelling back and forth to the toilets. Does this bring back memories? If your answer is yes, then you have definitely been a victim of the so-called turista (travellers’ diarrhoea) at least once in your life.
But for some people, turista is something which has to be dealt with every time they travel abroad. The reason as to why some people are more prone than others to the malady, which causes acute diarrhoea, could actually be linked to the different blood groups.
A study published last May in the Journal of Clinical Investigation revealed how people with blood types A or AB are more at risk of suffering from turista. Before reaching this conclusion, the researchers made 106 volunteers drink water contaminated with E.coli bacteria. Out of the volunteers with group A or AB blood type, 81% suffered from diarrhoea, compared to only 50% of volunteers with blood type O or B.
A very useful study
Researchers concluded that one of the proteins secreted by E.coli bacteria latches most easily onto a certain blood type. Namely, blood group A.
Even if this study highlights the inequality of nature, it could also help researchers to develop a cure against turista. This is not only fantastic news for people travelling abroad, but also and especially for people suffering from malnutrition.