Blood group Or a bulwark against Covid-19?
French researchers say that people with blood type O are less infected with the virus than others. How to explain this association?
Since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, several studies have presented people with blood type O as privileged against the virus. In fact, universal donors seem less affected by the health crisis than other blood groups. Reality or fantasy? This trend is confirmed by the conclusions of a French study published in the scientific journal Viruses.
By looking at thousands of data, researchers have found that patients with blood group O are better protected against Covid-19. "Blood group O appears protective compared to non-O types," notes this study by researchers from Inserm and the University of Nantes (Loire-Atlantique). "All the studies converge, people with blood type O are less susceptible to coronavirus infection," explains France Pirenne, medical director of the French Blood Establishment (EFS) in Ile-de-France and professor at the Paris-Est university. -Créteil.
And to specify: "We also know that women after pregnancy or children produce many antibodies. These people, including those in group O, could have even better results against this virus."
The action of antibodies?
Also quoted by the journal, Anne Goffard, professor of virology at the Lille Faculty of Pharmacy and at the University Hospital, estimates that individuals in group O "would have around 20% less chance of being infected. In Western Europe, the risk of infection would be reduced by 25%. " A figure that can reach up to 33% depending on the country in which the study is carried out.
How to explain this correlation between blood group and the appearance of the disease? A first hypothesis can explain this result. In fact, antibodies A and B, possessed by those of blood group O, may have a protective power against the virus. In contrast, those in group A have only B antibodies and those in group B have A antibodies.
Another possible explanation is that these group O antibodies could limit the action of the Spike protein, which helps the virus to enter the cells of the human body. In France, according to the French Blood Establishment, 42% of the population belongs to blood group O.
At the moment, this blood group trace remains a hypothesis that should not encourage some people to reduce barrier measures thinking that they are protected by their blood type.