The Impact of Human Genetic Polymorphisms on Rotavirus Susceptibility, Epidemiology, and Vaccine Take

Viruses. 2020 Mar 17;12(3):324. doi: 10.3390/v12030324.


Innate resistance to viral infections can be attributed to mutations in genes involved in the immune response, or to the receptor/ligand. A remarkable example of the latter is the recently described Mendelian trait resistance to clinically important and globally predominating genotypes of rotavirus, the most common agent of severe dehydrating gastroenteritis in children worldwide. This resistance appears to be rotavirus genotype-dependent and is mainly mediated by histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs), which function as a receptor or attachment factors on gut epithelial surfaces. HBGA synthesis is mediated by fucosyltransferases and glycosyltransferases under the genetic control of the FUT2 (secretor), FUT3 (Lewis), and ABO (H) genes on chromosome 19. Significant genotypic and phenotypic diversity of HBGA expression exists between different human populations. This genetic diversity has an effect on genotype-specific susceptibility, molecular epidemiology, and vaccine take. Here, we will discuss studies on genetic susceptibility to rotavirus infection and place them in the context of population susceptibility, rotavirus epidemiology, vaccine take, and public health impact.

Keywords: Rotavirus, Histo-blood group antigens, Susceptibility, Rotarix, RotaTeq, Disease burden, Vaccine take, Epidemiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / immunology
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • Blood Group Antigens / biosynthesis
  • Blood Group Antigens / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genotype
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Rotavirus / immunology*
  • Rotavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Rotavirus Infections / etiology*
  • Rotavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Vaccination
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Zoonoses


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Blood Group Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Viral Vaccines