Covid-19 antibodies deliver long-lasting immunity

Henrietta Strickland
October 17, 2020

While it's still not clear whether this link is a direct cause-and-effect relationship or simply a coincidental correlation, the two new bits of research further builds on the idea that blood type might have some role in how Covid-19 affects people.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United Kingdom, more people will suffer "debilitating" long-term after-effects of a related infection, academics have warned. "Such patients stayed in the intensive care unit longer than those with the first and third blood groups". Of those, 38.4 percent had blood type O, while other research indicates that blood type makes up about 41.7 percent of the population.

The researchers also found more patients with blood group A and AB required dialysis for kidney failure.

"It is very important to consider the proper control group because blood type prevalence may vary considerably in different ethnic groups and different countries", said study author Torben Barington, from the University of Southern Denmark.

It is impossible to keep only the vulnerable protected from the spread, Frieden said.

The first of the two studies saw scientists look at health registry data from more than 473,000 people in Denmark who tested for Covid-19 and compared it to a control group of more than 2.2 million people from the general population, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the total Danish population.

The researchers examined data from 95 critically ill COVID-19 patients hospitalised in Vancouver. Meanwhile, blood type B is much less common with just 8 per cent of the population having it.

Frieden was responding to recent efforts to promote herd immunity as an answer to COVID-19.

Other possible explanations involve blood group antigens and how they affect the production of infection fighting antibodies.

That previous genetic study, paired with the two new studies in Blood Advances, are "suggestive that this is a real phenomenon that we're seeing", said Adalja, whose work is focused on emerging infectious disease.

Adalja said that blood types and their susceptibility to various infections have been studied in the medical literature before.

"The issue is that as we enter, as we are now, in the cooler season of the fall and ultimately the colder season of the winter, you don't want to be in that compromised position where your baseline daily infection is high and you are increasing as opposed to going in the other direction", Fauci said.

"Individuals with O blood type are between 9-18% percent less likely than individuals with other blood types to have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the data", a company statement said at the time. "There's more science to be done here, but it seems to me that there's more evidence accumulating for this hypothesis". So what can we learn from these COVID blood type studies?

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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