Biological factors that determine susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and severity of COVID-19 are yet to be fully understood. A pre-print released in medRxiv by Zhao et al suggests that the ABO blood grouping may influence acquisition of COVID-19 and severity of the disease. In this retrospective data review, individuals with blood group A were found to have a 20% increased risk of acquiring the COVID-19-causing virus (OR 1.20; CI 1.02-1.43) compared to non-A individuals. Individuals with blood group O had a lower risk of viral infection (OR 0.67; CI 0.60-0.75) compared to non-O individuals.
Among Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital patients, blood group O was also associated with a lower risk of mortality compared to blood group A, which was associated with a 48% increased risk of mortality.
Opinion piece in the Conversation by
“To date, we don’t have robust scientific evidence to prove that our blood group has a direct relationship with COVID-19 infection. In this observational study, if they considered several other parameters, such as the previous history of other – specifically immune or respiratory-related – diseases, the conclusions might have been different. They have also not explained why they failed to see a significant difference between the blood groups in the Shenzhen hospital. And given COVID-19 is a pandemic, the sample size that they have analysed is not sufficient to draw firm conclusions.“
Article by Kenneth Omollo