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Why people with blood type A have a greater risk of contracting a new coronavirus infection?

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

American scientists have found out the reason why people with blood type A have a greater risk of contracting a new coronavirus infection.

The results of the study are published in the American Society of Hematology’s Blood Advances.

As researchers around the world work to identify risk factors for severe COVID-19, there is growing evidence that certain blood types may be associated with an increased risk of contracting the disease. The new study details one of the first laboratory studies in this area.

Medical scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analyzed how the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus interacts with red blood cells, the red blood cells of each blood group(in A, B, and O blood types). To do this, they determined the degree of binding of the RBD receptor-binding domain on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 with erythrocytes. The virus uses the RBD protein complex to attach to host cells, and the ease of infection is largely dependent on the strength of its binding.

After the authors assessed the amount of RBD antigens on respiratory cells and red blood cells in people with blood groups I, II and III, it was found that RBD has a strong preference for binding to respiratory cells in people with blood group II and does not bind to red blood cells of group II blood or with respiratory cells and red blood cells of other blood groups.

Respiratory cells are epithelial cells that line the walls of the pulmonary alveoli, and it is through them that gas exchange takes place.

“It is interesting that the viral RBD only really prefers the type of blood group A antigens that are on respiratory cells, which are presumably how the virus is entering most patients and infecting them,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Sean Stowell, said in a press release from the American Society of Hematology.

“Blood type is a challenge because it is inherited and not something we can change. But if we better understand how the virus interacts with different blood types in humans, we can find new drugs or prevention methods.”

In the second phase of the study, the authors tested whether there is a similar binding preference for RBD of the SARS-CoV virus that caused the outbreak of SARS in 2002-2003. Despite the fact that the composition of the RBD domain in SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV is different, the scientists found the same pattern for SARS-CoV-2 preferential binding to blood group II antigens on respiratory cells.

The researchers emphasize that their results cannot predict unambiguously how COVID-19 will proceed in patients with different blood types, since the severity of the disease depends on many factors.

“Our observation describes only one of the mechanisms responsible for what we observe clinically, but it explains some of the effects of blood type on COVID-19 infection,” says Stowell.

The authors hope that further observations will allow them to better understand the relationship between blood type and susceptibility to COVID-19, as well as the manifestation of certain symptoms of the disease.

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