Blood type and coronavirus: who may not get sick at all

The factors causing severe COVID-19 and deaths are being studied by scientists throughout the pandemic. In some people, the infection causes a lot of complications, in others it goes almost imperceptibly. It turns out that the blood group is important in this case.

The results of the first studies by Norwegian and German scientists were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 17 last year and looked very convincing. After that, work in this direction, confirming the first conclusions, continued throughout the world, and the results of scientific research are regularly published in scientific journals.

Edition DW talks about the study of DNA molecules of 1,610 patients with coronavirus from Spain and Italy. Most of them had a severe course of COVID-19, some of the disease ended in death. As it turned out during the study, in patients with blood group II (group A), the risk of a severe course of coronavirus is twice as high as in people with blood group I (group 0).

The next two large-scale studies, the results of which were published by Blood Advances (Journal of the American Society of Hematology), confirmed the conclusions of the Norwegian and German specialists. Scientists from the Medical University of Graz are now closely involved in the problem of the dependence of the form of the course of the coronavirus on the blood group.

The results of numerous studies will be important in determining how to treat SARS-CoV-2 SARS. At the same time, similar observations about the influence of the blood group on the course of the course of the disease are also available in relation to other ailments. For example, people with the first blood group very rarely get sick with a severe form of malaria, and with the second, they can more easily tolerate the plague.

The results of new research can change the concept of “risk group” in the current situation. While it includes those with certain chronic diseases, elderly people and others. It is possible that the blood type will also become a criterion.

In Germany, people with the second blood group make up approximately 43% of the population. Two more groups – III and IV – have, respectively, 11% and 5% of the country’s inhabitants, which do not show a clear trend during COVID-19. The remaining 41% are “lucky” with the first blood group. However, the new data does not at all indicate their strong immunity to the coronavirus – they mean that they have the lowest risk of getting sick in a severe form.

Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Says RIA Newsanalyzed how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with red blood cells of each blood group. For this, the degree of binding of the RBD domain on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 to erythrocytes was determined. The coronavirus uses the RBD protein complex to attach to host cells, and the level of its binding affects the ease of infection. As it turned out, RBD has a strong preference for the respiratory cells lining the walls of the pulmonary alveoli, namely blood group II. Study lead author Dr. Sean Stowell says:

“Interestingly, viral RBD does indeed favor blood group II antigens. Blood type is a problem because it is hereditary and we cannot change it. But if we better understand how the virus interacts with different blood types in humans, we we will be able to find new drugs or methods of prevention. Our observation describes only one of the mechanisms responsible for what we observe clinically, but it explains some of the effect of blood type on infection with COVID-19. “

Alexander Myasnikov, a Russian doctor and TV presenter, spoke about the genetic causation of various diseases on the air of the Russia 1 TV channel. According to him, the blood group can affect the development of diseases, including severe ones. For example, the owners of the first group are more likely to experience stomach ulcers, and the second – with stomach cancer. People with the third and fourth groups are more susceptible to pancreatic cancer. However, in some cases, the presence of antigens can protect against dangerous infections. He explains:

“The second group is more likely to get sick with COVID-19, and the first group is protected from it, thank God. <...> There are people who will never get sick with COVID-19, this is not only the first group, remember about 348 antigens. But there are rare cases when a person has a large number of receptors in the body that perceive the coronavirus. As a result, such people are less protected from infection and death due to it. “

Regarding the coronavirus, he says that if people with the second blood group become infected with it faster, then people with the first are protected from it. According to him, the owners of the first blood group, most likely, will not get sick with COVID-19 at all or suffer a mild illness. He emphasizes that both the risk of infection and the severity of the disease directly depend on the genetic characteristics of the immune system. There are people less susceptible to the virus, and there are people with little protection against it.

A similar picture is observed with other diseases, as well as with life expectancy, emphasizes Myasnikov: “No matter how you ruin yourself, genetics wins.” For example, if a person has direct long-living relatives who celebrated their 100th anniversary, he may well live up to this age – the probability is 17 times higher than that of those people who do not have such heredity.

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