Which Blood Type Offers Better Coronavirus Defense

ABO blood group plays a role in both susceptibility and severity for COVID-19 disease
crowd of people with different blood types

Preliminary data from a genetic study of COVID-19 appears to support the importance of a person’s blood type in their susceptibility to the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

With more than 750,000 participants already in the 23andMe study, the preliminary data suggest that the O blood type appears to be more protective against the coronavirus.

On June 8, 2020, 23andMe’s press release stated ‘Individuals with the O blood type are between 9-18% percent … less likely … than individuals with other blood types to be found positive for COVID-19.’

Furthermore, the percent of study respondents reporting a positive test for COVID-19 was highest among those with the AB blood type.

This study’s findings hold when adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, ethnicity, and co-morbidities stated 23andMe.

Although unrelated, earlier studies found the blood group O only to be protective across rhesus positive blood types, differences in rhesus factor (blood type + or -), but were not found to be significant differences in 23andMe data.

Nor was this a factor in susceptibility or severity in COVID-19 cases.

While it is still very early in the study, 23andMe’s preliminary investigation into genetics seems to support these findings.

The preliminary findings from 23andMe’s data are also notable because of the link between COVID-19 blood clotting and cardiovascular disease. 

23andMe launched its COVID-19 study on April 6, 2020, inviting customers to participate in the large-scale study looking at whether genetics could help explain the differences in severity among patients. 

In early May, the study was expanded when 23andMe provided 10,000 test kits free of charge to non-members.

As part of the research, participants answer survey questions about whether they’ve experienced cold or flu-like symptoms, whether they’ve been diagnosed or treated for COVID-19, and whether they’ve been hospitalized for the illness. 

The study and recruitment are ongoing, 23andMe stated it intends to publish the research findings in order to provide more insight into COVID-19 for the scientific community.

Previously, a non-peer-reviewed study published on March 19, 2020, found patients with the A blood type had a higher rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection and tended to get more severe COVID-19 disease symptoms. 

Coronavirus Today publishes COVID-19 pandemic news.