Association of Lewis blood group phenotypes with urinary tract infection in children

J Pediatr. 1994 Jun;124(6):863-8. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(05)83172-5.


Many blood group antigens, genetically controlled carbohydrate molecules, are found on the surface of uroepithelial cells and may affect bacterial adherence and increase the frequency of urinary tract infection (UTI) in adults. Sixty-two children aged 2 weeks to 17 years (mean, 2.3 years) who were hospitalized with fever in association with UTIs caused by Escherichia coli had complete (n = 50) or partial (n = 12) erythrocyte antigen typing to determine the role of erythrocyte antigens and phenotypes in UTI in children; 62 healthy children undergoing nonurologic elective surgery, matched 1 to 1 for age, sex, and race to the patient group, formed the control group. In univariate tests, patients and control subjects did not differ in ABO, Rh, P, Kell, Duffy, MNSs, and Kidd systems by the McNemar test of symmetry (p > 0.05). The frequency of the Lewis (Le) (a-b-) phenotype was higher (16/50 vs 5/50; p = 0.0076) and the frequency of the Le(a + b +) phenotype was lower (8/50 vs 16/50; p = 0.0455) in the patient population than in the control subjects. A stepwise logistic regression model to predict UTI with the explanatory variables A, B, O, M, N, S, s, Pl, Lea, and Leb showed that only the Lea and Leb antigens entered the model with p < 0.1. The Le(a-b-) phenotype was associated with UTI in this pediatric population. The relative risk of UTI in children with the Le(a-b-) phenotype was 3.2 (95% confidence interval, 1.3 to 7.9). Specific blood group phenotypes in pediatric populations may provide a means to identify children at risk of having UTI.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bacteriuria / blood*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Escherichia coli Infections / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lewis Blood Group Antigens*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Urinary Tract Infections / blood*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology


  • Lewis Blood Group Antigens