Abstract Histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs) and the Lewis and secretor antigens are associated with susceptibility to rotavirus infection in a genotype-dependent manner. Nicaraguan children were prospectively enrolled in two cohorts vaccinated with either RotaTeq RV5 (n = 68) or Rotarix RV1 (n = 168). Lewis and secretor antigens were determined by saliva phenotyping and genotyping. Seroconversion was defined as a 4-fold increase in plasma IgA antibody titer 1 month after administration of the first dose of the vaccine. Regardless of the vaccine administered, significantly fewer of the children with Lewis A phenotype (0/14) seroconverted after receiving the first vaccine dose compared to 26% (45/175) of those with the Lewis B phenotype and 32% (15/47) of the Lewis negative individuals (P < 0.01). Furthermore, following administration of the RV1 vaccine, secretor-positive ABO blood group B children seroconverted to a significantly lesser extent (5%) compared to secretor-positive children with ABO blood groups A (26%) and O (27%) (P < 0.05). Other factors such as pre-vaccination titers, sex, breastfeeding, and calprotectin levels did not influence vaccine-take. Differences in HBGA expression appear to be a contributing factor in the discrepancy in vaccine-take and thus, in vaccine efficacy in different ethnic populations
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