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Blood type and COVID-19: O may help, A may hurt
Published on: 2020-07-02
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blood 02A genetic analysis of COVID-19 patients suggests that blood type might influence whether someone develops a severe case of the disease.
 

Scientists who compared the genes of thousands of patients in Europe found that those who had Type A blood were more likely to have severe cases while those with Type O were less likely.
 

Wednesday’s report in the New England Journal of Medicine does not prove a blood type connection, but it does confirm a previous report from China of such a link.

Scientists who compared the genes of thousands of patients in Europe found that those who had Type A blood were more likely to have severe cases while those with Type O were less likelyScientists who compared the genes of thousands of patients in Europe found that those who had Type A blood were more likely to have severe cases while those with Type O were less likely

The study, involving scientists in Italy, Spain, Denmark, Germany and other countries, compared about 2,000 patients with severe COVID-19 to several thousand other people who were healthy or who had only mild or no symptoms. Researchers tied variations in six genes to the likelihood of severe disease, including some that could have a role in how vulnerable people are to the virus. They also tied blood groups to possible risk.
 

Most genetic studies like this are much larger, so it would be important to see if other scientists can look at other groups of patients to see if they find the same links, Topol said.
 

Many researchers have been hunting for clues as to why some people infected with the coronavirus get very ill and others less so. Being older or male seems to increase risk, and scientists have been looking at genes as another possible “host factor” that influences disease severity.

blood 01There are four main blood types — A, B, AB and O — and “it’s determined by proteins on the surface of your red blood cells,” said Dr. Mary Horowitz, scientific chief at the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.
 

People with Type O are better able to recognize certain proteins as foreign, and that may extend to proteins on virus surfaces, Hari explained.
 

During the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, which was caused by a genetic cousin of the coronavirus causing the current pandemic, “it was noted that people with O blood type were less likely to get severe disease,” he said.
 

新冠 A型血更易感 O型血风险较低

一项针对意大利和西班牙人群的新研究显示,新冠病毒感染风险可能与血型有关,A型血人群更易感染新冠病毒,而O型血人群更不易感。
 

这项研究17日发表在美国《新英格兰医学杂志》上。德国、西班牙、意大利、挪威等多国研究人员对意大利和西班牙的大约1600名新冠重症患者和大约2200名对照组人群进行了全基因组关联研究和荟萃分析。
 

结果研究人员不仅在新冠重症患者身上找到了一个新冠病毒易感基因位点,还发现ABO血型系统可能与新冠感染风险有关。分析显示,A型血人群的新冠感染风险比非A型血人群高45%,O型血人群的新冠感染风险则比非O型血人群低35%。
 

研究人员说,这背后的生物学机制可能与不同血型人群的N-聚糖中和抗体差异、基因变异等因素有关,本项研究结果是否有助于评估新冠患者临床风险还有待进一步研究。

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