Enhanced Protection Against Diarrhea Among Breastfed Infants of Nonsecretor Mothers

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2021 Mar 1;40(3):260-263. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000003014.


Diarrhea is a major cause of infant mortality. Being a "nonsecretor" (having an inactive fucosyltransferase-2 gene) protects against diarrhea by inhibiting enteric infections. Breastfeeding also protects against diarrhea; however, the impact of maternal secretor status is unknown. In the ALSPAC cohort (N = 4971), we found that breastfeeding by nonsecretor mothers was especially protective against diarrhea, which could inform new prevention strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diarrhea / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Fucosyltransferases / genetics*
  • Fucosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mothers*


  • Fucosyltransferases
  • galactoside 2-alpha-L-fucosyltransferase