A study from China has revealed that people with blood Type A are more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Researchers who analysed the infection and death patterns in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, say people with the blood Type O were found to have greater resistance to the virus.

The observation was made by scientists at the Centre for Evidence-Based and Translational Medicine based out of Wuhan. Prominent regional dailies like the South China Morning Post carried the news. However, it is not clear if enough epidemiological analysis and adequate sampling underpin the findings. It is also too early to say if the finding holds good in other regions of the world where the virus is causing more damage at the moment.

Coronavirus status as of 17 March, 2020
Coronavirus status as of 17 March, 2020 GISAID

The head of the team that made the findings, Wang Xinghuan, said the study could still be termed "preliminary," and that more research was required to give it a final shape.

According to the researchers, the ratio of Covid-19 patients killed by the virus was higher in those with the blood type A. "People of blood group A might need particularly strengthened personal protection to reduce the chance of infection," the resaefhers said.

How they arrived at the finding

Vaccine
Vaccine (Representational picture) Pixabay

The researchers took the blood types of as many as 2,173 patients with coronavirus infection. They were all from Wuhan and Shenzhen regions. These samples were then compared with more than 3,694 healthy people in Wuhan area. It was found that the proportion of patients with blood Type A was higher than those in the general population. While as many as 31.16 percent of Wuhan residents had type A blood, 37.75 percent of surveyed patients had the same blood type.

In the case of people with Type O blood, the case was the opposite. While 25.8 percent of the patients had type O blood, 33.84 percent were Type O from the general public. The researchers also compared the blood profile of a number of dead people to see how this blood group difference played out. While 85 of a sample of 206 victims had blood type A, only 52 had type O blood. In percentage terms this works out into 41.26 percent of coronavirus victims having Type A blood, while only about 25 percent had Type O blood.

The study was published on Medrxiv.org.

Process and the conclusion

As per the website the objective of the study was laid down as under:

"To investigate the relationship between the ABO blood group and the COVID-19 susceptibility. DESIGN The study was conducted by comparing the blood group distribution in 2,173 patients with COVID-19 confirmed by SARS-CoV-2 test from three hospitals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, China with that in normal people from the corresponding regions.

"CONCLUSION People with blood group A have a significantly higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 compared with non-A blood groups, whereas blood group O has a significantly lower risk for the infection compared with non-O blood groups."