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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 573652, 6 pages
Research Article

Significance of Lewis Phenotyping Using Saliva and Gastric Tissue: Comparison with the Lewis Phenotype Inferred from Lewis and Secretor Genotypes

1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 110-744, Republic of Korea
2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 173-82 Gumiro, Bundanggu, Seongnam, Gyeonggido 463-707, Republic of Korea

Received 31 December 2013; Revised 9 February 2014; Accepted 3 March 2014; Published 24 March 2014

Academic Editor: Giulio Mengozzi

Copyright © 2014 Yun Ji Hong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Lewis phenotypes using various types of specimen were compared with the Lewis phenotype predicted from Lewis and Secretor genotypes. This is the first logical step in explaining the association between the Lewis expression and Helicobacter pylori. We performed a study of the followings on 209 patients who underwent routine gastroscopy: erythrocyte and saliva Lewis phenotyping, gastric Lewis phenotyping by the tissue array, and the Lewis and Secretor genes genotyping. The results of phenotyping were as follows [Le(a−b−), Le(a+b−), Le(a−b+), and Le(a+b+), respectively, in order]: erythrocyte (12.4%, 25.8%, 61.2%, and 0.5%); saliva (2.4%, 27.3%, 70.3%, and 0.0%); gastric mucosa (8.1%, 6.7%, 45.5%, and 39.7%). The frequency of Le, , , and alleles was 74.6%, 21.3%, 3.1%, and 1.0%, respectively, among 418 alleles. The saliva Lewis phenotype was completely consistent with the Lewis phenotype inferred from Lewis and Secretor genotypes, but that of gastric mucosa could not be predicted from genotypes. Lewis phenotyping using erythrocytes is only adequate for transfusion needs. Saliva testing for the Lewis phenotype is a more reliable method for determining the peripheral Lewis phenotype of an individual and the gastric Lewis phenotype must be used for the study on the association between Helicobacter pylori and the Lewis phenotype.