A recent study conducted by genetic testing company 23andME found the role of a gene and blood group that affects a person’s susceptibility to acquiring coronavirus and turns out people with type O blood group is especially protective against the virus. While another research suggests type A blood vulnerable.
The fulcrum of the 23andME study (and others) was to find out the role of genetics, where some people become gravely ill upon contacting the novel coronavirus, while some people stay asymptomatic. 23andME reportedly launched the study back in April and used millions of DNA records in their database to find the role of DNA in disease.
The preliminary results after analyzing 750,000 respondents found type O blood to be resistive to the SARS-CoVI-2, the virus that caused COVID-1, SCMP reports. 100,000 individuals in the test told the company they had coronavirus. It came out individuals with type O were between 9-18% less likely to contract the disease, compared to other blood types.
However, it must be noted that researchers adjusted the data into two separate groups to account for factors like 1) age and pre-existing illness, and the 2) other group of data from frontline workers with high probablitiy of exporsure. In both cases, the results were the same.
Adam Auton, lead researcher on the 23andMe study said: “These reports provided some hints about which genes might be relevant.”
“It’s early days; even with these sample sizes, it might not be enough to find genetic associations,” he added. “We’re not the only group looking at this, and ultimately the scientific community may need to pool their resources to really address questions surrounding the links between genetics and Covid-19.”
This is not the only research trying to dig deep into the perplexing spirals of genetics. Another research, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, suggests blood type may also play a role in making a person more vulnerable to the SARS-CoVI-2. They analyzed genetic profiles of more than 1500 Spanish and Italians who had respiratory failure and found type A blood individuals were linked to 50% more chance of needing a ventilator upon contracting the disease.
More research is ongoing to determined which groups of people are more vulnerable than the others. What do you think about this preliminary finding? Let us know your thoughts in the comment below.