Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  • Users Online:183
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 114-115

Impact of ABO blood groups on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 susceptibility

1 Department of Health, Peshawar Regional Blood Center, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
2 Department of Pathology and Transfusion Medicine, Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University, Islamabad, Pakistan

Date of Submission28-Mar-2021
Date of Decision02-May-2021
Date of Acceptance04-May-2021
Date of Web Publication29-May-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Noore Saba
Department of Health, Peshawar Regional Blood Center, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/gjtm.gjtm_26_21

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Saba N, Waheed U, Nisar M. Impact of ABO blood groups on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 susceptibility. Glob J Transfus Med 2021;6:114-5

How to cite this URL:
Saba N, Waheed U, Nisar M. Impact of ABO blood groups on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 susceptibility. Glob J Transfus Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 7];6:114-5. Available from: https://www.gjtmonline.com/text.asp?2021/6/1/114/317129


The ongoing pandemic of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has brought a global health emergency. Published data suggest that certain factors, including age, sex, and chronic medical conditions play a role in acquiring infection and disease severity.[1] There is currently no biological marker known to predict the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Earlier studies have proven that the ABO blood group system is related to many bacterial and viral infections.[2] Some preliminary research data pertaining to the ongoing pandemic point out the fact that the ABO blood group can play a role in the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19.[3] The current study was piloted to assess the association of ABO blood groups to COVID-19 as a biomarker.

This single center cross-sectional study was performed at the Peshawar Regional Blood Center in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan, over 6 months (September 2020 to February 2021). Blood groups of 2140 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 (confirmed by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) were performed by standard tube technique using anti-sera by Lorne Laboratories Ltd., Berkshire, UK. Besides, 2450 regular blood donors (negative for SARS-CoV-2) were used as controls. Statistical analysis was done using the IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software, Version 22.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp. The odds ratio and 95% confidence interval were also calculated. The study was endorsed by the Ethical Committee of the Peshawar Regional Blood Center.

Among the 2450 blood donors (control group), ABO blood group percentage distribution was 28.36%, 32.19%, 28.34%, and 11.11% for A, B, O, and AB, respectively. On the other hand, 2140 SARS-CoV-2 patients displayed a distribution of ABO blood groups as 34.14%, 33.32%, 20.88%, and 11.66% for A, B, O, and AB, respectively. The percentage of “A” blood group in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients was considerably higher as compared to the control group of donors (34.14% vs. 28.36%) with a P < 0.001. Conversely, the percentage of “O” blood group in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients was considerably lower as compared to the control group of donors (20.88% vs. 28.34%) with a P < 0.001. The findings exhibited a considerably higher risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 for blood group “A” individuals (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.134–1.439) (Odds ratio: 1.269). The blood group “O” individuals on the other hand displayed a lower risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 (95% CI: 0.589–0.761) (Odds ratio: 0.678).

The findings of our study, i.e., blood groups A and O showing a higher and lower risk for acquiring COVID-19, respectively, were consistent with those reported from China,[4] Spain,[5] Turkey,[6] and Belgium.[7] In contrast, studies from the USA[8] and Iran[9] showed a higher risk for blood group AB while lower risk for blood Group O.

Even though the relationship between the ABO blood groups and the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 is convincing, additional studies with a larger sample size may contribute further in understanding the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. At present, the findings are premature for practical clinical implications.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Tisminetzky M, Delude C, Hebert T, Carr C, Goldberg RJ, Gurwitz JH. Age, multiple chronic conditions, and COVID-19: A literature review. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2020;24:glaa320.  Back to cited text no. 1
Abegaz SB. Human ABO blood groups and their associations with different diseases. Biomed Res Int 2021;2021:6629060.  Back to cited text no. 2
Arend P. Why blood group A individuals are at risk whereas blood group O individuals are protected from SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection: A hypothesis regarding how the virus invades the human body via ABO (H) blood group-determining carbohydrates. Immunobiology 2020;226:152027.  Back to cited text no. 3
Zhao J, Yang Y, Huang H, Li D, Gu D, Lu X, et al. Relationship between the ABO Blood Group and the COVID-19 Susceptibility. Clin Infect Dis. 2020; 4:ciaa1150. [doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa1150].  Back to cited text no. 4
Muñiz-Diaz E, Llopis J, Parra R, Roig I, Ferrer G, Grifols J, et al. Relationship between the ABO blood group and COVID-19 susceptibility, severity and mortality in two cohorts of patients. Blood Transfus 2021;19:54-63.  Back to cited text no. 5
Göker H, Karakulak EA, Demiroğlu H, Ayaz Ceylan ÇM, Büyükaşik Y, Inkaya AÇ, et al. The effects of blood group types on the risk of COVID-19 infection and its clinical outcome. Turkish J Med Sci 2020;50:679-83.  Back to cited text no. 6
Gérard C, Maggipinto G, Minon JM. COVID-19 & ABO blood group: Another viewpoint. Br J Haematol 2020;190:e93-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
Latz CA, DeCarlo C, Boitano L, Png CY, Patell R, Conrad MF, et al. Blood type and outcomes in patients with COVID-19. Ann Hematol 2020;99:2113-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
Abdollahi A, Mahmoudi-Aliabadi M, Mehrtash V, Jafarzadeh B, Salehi M. The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 vulnerability association with ABO/Rh blood types. Iran J Pathol 2020;15:156-60.  Back to cited text no. 9


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded50    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal