JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Blood type, genes tied to risk of severe COVID-19: European study

Blood type, genes tied to risk of severe COVID-19: European study

Friday, June 19, 2020, 14:43 GMT+7
Blood type, genes tied to risk of severe COVID-19: European study
The ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China, is seen in an illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. January 29, 2020. Photo: Reuters

A person’s blood type and other genetic factors may be linked with severity of coronavirus infection, according to European researchers looking for further clues about why COVID-19 hits some so much harder than others.

The findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, suggest people with type A blood have a higher risk of being infected with the coronavirus and developing worse symptoms.

At the peak of the epidemic in Europe, researchers analyzed the genes of more than 4,000 people to look for variations that were common in those who became infected with the coronavirus and developed severe COVID-19.

A cluster of variants in genes that are involved with immune responses was more common in people with severe COVID-19, they found. These genes are also involved with a cell-surface protein called ACE2 that the coronavirus uses to gain entry to and infect cells in the body.

The researchers, led by Dr. Andre Franke from Christian-Albrecht-University in Kiel, Germany, and Dr. Tom Karlsen, from Oslo University Hospital in Norway also found a relationship between COVID-19 severity and blood type.

The risk for severe COVID-19 was 45% higher for people with type A blood than those with other blood types. It appeared to be 35% lower for people with type O.

“The findings ... provide specific clues as to what disease processes may be going on in severe COVID-19,” Karlsen told Reuters by email, noting that additional research is needed before the information becomes useful.

“The hope is that these and other findings ... will point the way to a more thorough understanding of the biology of COVID-19,” U.S. National Institutes of Health director and genetics expert Francis Collins wrote in his blog on Thursday.

“They also suggest that a genetic test and a person’s blood type might provide useful tools for identifying those who may be at greater risk of serious illness.”

Reuters

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta celebrates spring with ‘hat boi’ performances

The art form is so popular that it attracts people from all ages in the Mekong Delta

Vietnamese youngster travels back in time with clay miniatures

Each work is a scene caught by Dung and kept in his memories through his journeys across Vietnam

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Latest news