The connection between blood type and susceptibility to coronavirus may be possible, according to new research.
A new study conducted by scientists studying the spread of coronavirus in China potentially shows that a person’s blood type could have some impact on how at-risk they are of infection.
Researchers in China took blood samples from 2,173 COVID-19 patients from the city of Wuhan where the outbreak is thought to have originated and the city of Shenzhen. They compared the information gathered to that of blood group surveys taken from 3,694 healthy individuals in Wuhan, and 23,386 healthy samples from Shenzhen, China. Samples were taken from three hospitals and included blood samples from deceased patients. These results were compared with another group of about 400 patients from other hospitals in both cities, all of which showed similar findings.
Results from the study showed that there seems to be a larger risk to people who have blood type A when compared to non-A type blood. People with type O blood seem to have a lower risk of acquiring the virus, according to this study's research.
“In summary, we for the first time report a link between COVID-19 susceptibility and the ABO blood group, demonstrating the latter to be a biomarker differentiating the former. Specifically, people with blood group A have a higher risk whereas people with blood group O have a lower risk for SARS-Cov-2 infection and COVID-19 severity.”
You can read the full study report here.
It's important to note that this is not enough research to say that the virus is, in fact, at higher risk of infecting those with type A blood, however, it is information that needs to be further studied. This study had a comparatively small sample size, and it did not have all the information and resources of a larger study, so more expansive research is needed.
In the rapidly changing world of coronavirus, any new information must be looked into. The study is waiting to be peer-reviewed, but the findings have been published on medRxiv, a website where researchers publish studies prior to peer-review that is needed to publish in scientific and medical journals. This site helps get information out as it is discovered, rather than having to wait for peer-review, giving the working medical community access to findings.
Right now, there are no confirmed biological markers that show how much risk an individual has of getting the coronavirus or how severe it will be for them if they do acquire the virus. There does seem to be an indication that it affects older adults and men more severely, and new information is coming out every day as doctors and scientists learn more about the disease.
If the correlation between blood type and infection is deemed to be solid, this information could be very useful in treating the disease, protecting healthcare workers, and possibly help tamper the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This new information is not necessarily going to help you and me, personally; however, it gives researchers and medical professionals one more lead to pursue as we all work to overcome and move forward from what is now the world’s most concerning health issue.
What do you think about this possible connection between blood type and acquiring the COVID-19 virus? Have you seen any other information linking these together? We want to hear from you in the comments.