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NEW DELHI : Persons having A blood group may be at a higher risk of covid-19, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine has indicated. The study titled –Genomewide Association Study of Severe Covid-19 with Respiratory Failure- has also said that those people with O blood groups may be a lesser risk of contracting the highly infectious disease.

The study found that there is considerable variation in disease behavior among patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes Covid-19. The study said that the genomewide association analysis may allow for the identification of potential genetic factors involved in the development of Covid-19. Genomewide association analysis is also known as whole genome association study which is an observational study of a genome-wide set of genetic variants in different individuals to see if any variant is associated with a trait.

The researchers conducted a genomewide association study involving 1980 patients with Covid-19 and severe disease (defined as respiratory failure) at seven hospitals in the Italian and Spanish epicenters of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Europe.

The scientists found studying patients with Covid-19 with respiratory failure found a potential involvement of the ABO blood-group system. “Our genetic data confirm that blood group O is associated with a risk of acquiring Covid-19 that was lower than that in non-O blood groups, whereas blood group A was associated with a higher risk than non-A blood groups,” the study said.

“The biologic mechanisms undergirding these findings may have to do with the ABO group per se for example with the development of neutralizing antibodies against protein-linked N-glycans or with other biologic effects of the identified variant,” the study said.

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