ABO blood group association and COVID-19. COVID-19 susceptibility and severity: a review


Hematology, Transfusion and Cell Therapy




Abstract Introduction The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has been affecting the health and economic, as well as social, life of the entire globe since the end of 2019. The virus causes COVID-19, with a wide range of symptoms among the infected individuals, from asymptomatic infection to mortality. This, along with a high infection rate, prompted efforts to investigate the potential mechanisms of the different clinical manifestations caused by SARS-CoV-2 among the infected populations. Hypothesis One of the possible mechanisms that has been reported is the ABO blood system polymorphism. Indeed, one of the major proposed mechanisms is the presence of naturally occurring anti-A antibodies in individuals of groups O and B, which could be partially protective against SARS-CoV-2 virions. Objective and Method This article aimed to review the published data on the potential effect of the ABO blood group system on the susceptibility to COVID-19 and the disease progression and outcomes. Results The reviewed data suggest that individuals of blood group A are at a higher risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and may develop severe COVID-19 outcomes, whereas blood group O is considered protective against the infection, to some extent. However, some of the available studies seem to have been influenced by unaccounted confounders and biases. Conclusion Therefore, further appropriately controlled studies are warranted to fully investigate the possible association between the ABO blood groups and COVID-19 susceptibility and severity.

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