Why Blood Type May Matter for COVID Infection

WEDNESDAY, March 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) – A new study provides additional evidence that people of certain blood groups may be more likely to contract COVID-19.

Specifically, he found that the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is particularly attracted to the blood group A antigen found on respiratory cells.

The researchers focused on a protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus called the receptor binding domain (RBD), which is the part of the virus that attaches to host cells. This makes it an important target for scientists trying to learn how the virus infects people.

In this lab study, the team evaluated how SARS-CoV-2 RBD interacted with red blood cells and respiratory cells in blood groups A, B, and O.

The results showed that SARS-CoV-2 RBD had a strong preference for binding to blood group A found on respiratory cells, but had no preference for red blood cells of blood group A, or other blood groups. found on respiratory or red blood cells.

The preference of SARS-CoV-2 RBD to recognize and bind to blood type A antigen found in the lungs of people with blood type A may provide insight into the potential link between blood group A and infection with COVID-19, according to the study’s authors. It was published on March 3 in the newspaper Advances in blood.

“Interestingly, viral RBD only really prefers the type of blood group A antigens that are found on respiratory cells, which is probably how the virus enters and infects most patients.” said study author Dr Sean Stowell of Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“The blood type is a challenge because it is inherited and not something we can change,” Stowell said in a press release. “But if we can better understand how the virus interacts with blood groups in people, we may be able to find new drugs or prevention methods.”

These results alone cannot fully describe or predict how coronaviruses will affect patients of different blood groups, the researchers noted.

“Our observation is not the only mechanism responsible for what we see clinically, but it could explain part of the influence of the blood group on the COVID-19 infection,” said Stowell and his team.

More information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.

SOURCE: Advances in blood, press release, March 3, 2021

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