strikes, and pharmaceutical companies have spent their time trying to develop vaccines and drugs to counter the infection.
However, it is further necessary to know whether one falls in the high-risk group for COVID-19 and a recent study has discovered the blood groups that are most vulnerable to this infection.
The study was conducted on 2586 COVID-19 positive patients who were tested with an RT-PCR ad admitted to the hospital from April 8 2020 to October 4, 2020.
During the study of admitted patients, follow-up was also taken up till their last date of admission as either discharged or dead, hospital authorities.
“Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is a new virus, and it is unclear whether blood groups have any impact on Covid-19 risk or progression. Therefore, we investigated the association of ABO and Rh blood group with Covid-19 susceptibility, prognosis, recovery time, and mortality in this study,” said Dr. Rashmi Rana, Consultant, Department of Research.
According to the study, the frequencies of A, B, O, and AB blood groups were 29.93%, 41.8%, 21.19%, and 7.89% respectively, while in a control group of 79,325, their frequencies were 21.86%, 38.49%, 29.37%, and 10.28% respectively. Of the patients, 98.07% were Rh-positive.
These findings revealed that blood groups A, B, and Rh+ fall under the high-risk group for COVID-19 as opposed to O, AB, and Rh-. However, there was no link between blood groups and the possibility of severe COVID-19 or mortality risk.
Rhesus factor or Rh factor is a protein present on the surface of red blood cells (RBCs). The positive or negative sign next to the blood group is known as the Rh factor. If the blood type is positive, then the blood cells have the Rh protein, and they lack the Rh protein, if negative.
They also found that male patients of blood group B are more prone to COVID-19 than the female patients with blood group B, and blood group AB was observed to be more susceptible to infection in patients with the age group of over 60 years.
The study also claimed that blood group A and Rh+ types were associated with a decrease in the recovery period, whereas blood group O and Rh- were associated with an increase in the recovery period.
However, the ABO and/or Rh blood groups may not be responsible for this association, as these may indicate an unexplored underlying factor like co-morbidity.
Therefore, larger, multicentre, and prospective studies are needed to ascertain the relationship between blood groups and COVID-19 infection.
- Association of ABO blood groups with presentation and outcomes of confirmed SARS CoV-2 infection: A prospective study in the largest COVID-19 dedicated hospital in Bangladesh – (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0249252)
- ABO groups can play a role in susceptibility and severity of COVID-19 – (https://ejb.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s43168-020-00051-w