Richard Sprague

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Could my gut microbes change my blood type?

Created: 2019-06-15 ; Updated: 2019-06-15

A University of British Columbia team led by Stephen Withers were able to convert Type A blood to Type O using enzymes from a gut bacterium called Flavonifractor plautii.

I’m Type A … I wonder if I have any of that microbe in my gut?

The answer is yes:

taxa max min median mean sd
Flavonifractor plautii 7196 0 438 720.6592 890.9977

(Those numbers are parts per million).

This microbe seems pretty common in most of the samples people have sent me, with perhaps a bit more variation among people with some type of gut problem compared to those who are healthy.

I realize how much I expose myself as an amateur for even asking this question, since it’s hard to imagine any biological basis for how a gut microbe could relate to person’s blood type, but wouldn’t it be cool to go back to these people and see if there’s a relationship between blood type and presence/absence/abundance of this microbe?