COVID-19: This one blood group is less vulnerable to coronavirus

Modesto Morganelli
Ottobre 17, 2020

A preprint study published in March this year suggested that people with blood type A have a higher risk of acquiring Covid-19 compared with non-A blood groups, while another study published in June found that blood type O seemed to be more resistant against Covid-19 infection.

They said that it can not be assumed that people who are at lower risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 are also at low risk of ongoing COVID.

As part of the study, the team of researchers gathered Danish health registry data from more than 473,000 individuals tested for COVID-19 and compared it to data from a control group of more than 2.2 million people, as per a report by news agency IANS.

Between the blood types A, B and AB, no significant difference in rates of infection was found.

Patients with blood types A and AB did not have longer hospital stays than those with types O or B, but they did experience longer intensive care unit stays, which may signal greater COVID-19 severity.

People with type A blood, however, accounted for 44.4% of the infected patients, the study found, despite making up 42.4% of the untested group.

While it's still not clear whether this link is a direct cause-and-effect relationship or simply a coincidental correlation, the two new bits of research further builds on the idea that blood type might have some role in how Covid-19 affects people.

"It is very important to consider the proper control group because blood type prevalence may vary considerably in different ethnic groups and different countries", says study author Torben Barington, MD, of Odense University Hospital in a press release. It could be, for example, that a certain ethnic group is at a higher risk of catching Covid-19 and they incidentally are likely to share a certain blood type.

They wrote that patients with blood groups A or AB were more likely to require mechanical ventilation (34, or 84%) versus those with blood group O or B (35, or 61%), which means that their risk of lung injury from Covid-19 was greater.

Previous studies have indicated similar results in patients with blood type O.

This lends credence to the fact that people with blood type A, B and AB, may be more at risk of getting infected than those with blood type O.

The authors hypothesize that the presence of virus-neutralizing anti-A and anti-B antibodies on mucosal surfaces of some type O individuals may explain the relative protection for this blood type.

Types A and AB also needed a sort of dialysis that helps the kidneys filter blood without putting too much pressure on the heart more often than their counterparts.

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