Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Non-secretion of ABO blood group antigens as a host susceptibility factor in the spondyloarthropathies.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 24 January 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:208
  1. R Shinebaum,
  2. C C Blackwell,
  3. P J Forster,
  4. N P Hurst,
  5. D M Weir,
  6. G Nuki


    Gram negative bacteria precipitate reactive arthritis and may be concerned in the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis and other spondyloarthropathies. Susceptibility to many infectious agents is associated with ABO blood group or secretor state, or both. The distribution of the ABO blood group or secretor state, or both, was therefore determined in 87 patients with ankylosing spondylitis and 32 with other forms of spondyloarthropathy. The prevalence of non-secretors was significantly increased in the total patient group (54/114; 47%) and in the subgroup with ankylosing spondylitis (41/84; 49%) compared with local controls (89/334; 27%) (p less than 0.001). Other subgroups of patients showed a similarly increased prevalence of non-secretion (33-47%). The distribution of ABO blood groups did not differ between patients and controls. The association between non-secretor state and ankylosing spondylitis strengthens the hypothesis that ankylosing spondylitis is a form of reactive arthritis. It also suggests several pathogenic mechanisms which may be relevant to the initial hostparasite interaction in ankylosing spondylitis.