The coronavirus most aggressively affects people who have a specific blood type, according to a study. The latest conclusions from a study published in Blood Advances show that there are specific blood groups that are more prone to ‘attract’ the virus and get coronavirus.
El SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, is “particularly attracted” to blood group A antigen found in respiratory cells, suggests a study published in the journal Blood Advances.
Although it is necessary, according to the authors, to continue researching to understand the influence that blood type has on covid-19 infection, this article adds to the findings of previous studies that already pointed to a possible relationship between blood type and susceptibility and severity of the aforementioned disease.
To reach their conclusions, the researchers in the now published study evaluated a protein from the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus called the receptor-binding domain, or RBD. The RBD -which is within the Spike protein– is the part of the virus that attaches itself to host cells, so it is an important research objective to understand how infection occurs, explains in a statement the American Society of Hematology. In laboratory experiments, the team analyzed how SARS-CoV-2 RBD interacted with each blood type.
Blood group A
They found that it had a “strong preference” to bind to blood group A found in respiratory cells; however, he did not show a predilection for blood group A red cells, nor for other blood groups found in respiratory cells or red blood cells.
The ability of RBD to preferentially recognize and bind to blood group A antigen found in the lungs of individuals with this blood group can provide information on the possible relationship between type A and covid-19 infection, the study authors conclude.
“Interestingly, viral RBD only really prefers the type of blood group A antigens found on respiratory cells, which are presumably the way the virus enters and infects most patients,” he says. Sean R. Stowell, of Hospital Brigham and Women’s de Boston (United States) and author of the work.
You can’t change your blood group, but you can better understand how the virus interacts with your blood groups, and thus perhaps “new drugs or prevention methods,” says Stowell.
The scientist and his team stressed that their findings alone cannot fully describe or predict how coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, would affect patients of various blood types. “Our observation is not the only mechanism responsible for what we are seeing clinically, but it could explain part of the influence of blood type on covid-19 infection.”
Latest studies also suggest that zinc deficiency or periodontitis may be associated with increased severity of Covid.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.