Relationship between the ABO blood group and the COVID-19 susceptibility, study finds

A study have compared the ABO blood group distribution in 2,173 patients with COVID-19 confirmed by SARS-CoV-2 test from three hospitals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, China, with that in normal people from the corresponding regions.

Recent clinical observation suggests that patient age, male sex and certain chronic medical conditions (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, COPD) seem to represent a risk for the infection of SARS-CoV-2 and higher disease severity. However, there is currently no biological marker known to predict the susceptibility to COVID-19.

Landsteiner’s ABO blood types are carbohydrate epitopes that are present on the surface of human cells. While blood types are genetically inherited, the environment factors can potentially influence which blood types in a population will be passed on more frequently to the next generation. Susceptibility of viral infection has been previously found to be related to ABO blood group. For example, Norwalk virus and Hepatitis B have clear blood group susceptibility. It was also reported that blood group O individuals were less likely to become infected by SARS coronavirus.

The results showed in the study ―the first observation of an association between the ABO blood type and COVID-19―, that blood group A was associated with a higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 compared with non-A blood groups, whereas blood group O was associated with a lower risk for the infection compared with non-O blood groups.

Link to the paper: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.11.20031096

Editorial Disclaimer: information published during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic may be updated frequently to reflect the dynamic nature of current understanding.

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