Genes and Gastro-Enteritis

January 21, 2019

Thomas Carton R&D / Clinico-microbiota lab manager, Biofortis Mérieux NutriSciences.


The main culprits of your gastroenteritis are your parents, and this is not only due to a lack of hygiene education, as is commonly believed. Did you know this is also related to genetics?

Indeed, many studies have shown the link between genetics, and in particular, genes involved in the structure of the intestinal tract, and the susceptibility to be infected by viruses of gastroenteritis. On one side, these genes are involved in the composition of molecules that cover your intestinal epithelium, forming a kind of mesh. These genes are polymorphic, it means they exist in various forms called alleles, whose transmission is hereditary and different alleles determine different types of mesh. On the other side,  there are different types of viruses, which are found to correspond to one or the other of the meshes in terms of affinity. When you inadvertently ingest a virus of gastroenteritis you still have a chance of not being sick: by having the mesh that does not pick up this type of virus. Otherwise, oops... In short, if you often have gastroenteritis, do not forget to wash your hands first, and then tell yourself you just have the virus that suits you, thanks to your parents.


In this field of science, Biofortis was recently part of the authors of a scientific article, led by Professor Jacques Le Pendu,  that investigates the link between genetics and viral susceptibility, in particular between the HBGO complex and rotavirus. You will find the full article with free access here.



This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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