Conflicting research on blood types and susceptibility to COVID-19

Coronavirus COVID-19
Posted at 4:05 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 21:09:28-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — At first researchers thought people with O blood types were less likely to get COVID-19, but then other studies revealed that wasn't true.

At Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr. Garrett Booth has been busy researching COVID-19. He's looking into convalescent plasma treatment in addition to COVID-19's connection with autoimmune diseases.

"But coronavirus is a sticky wicket, and a lot of things that normally occur with seasonal colds are not happening with coronavirus, including the very odd increase in morbidity and mortality," Booth said.

He said he’s aware of the studies on blood types, and the conflicting results.

"It can be maddening for physicians and scientists for the lay public alike to hear competing narratives within the medical literature, “ Booth said. “The take away from that is, that’s how science is done. That’s how the sausage gets made. There is no one definitive study that knocks it out of the ballpark."

What's clear is people with all blood types can get COVID-19.

"As of today, the most important takeaway is there’s no clinical utility in knowing your blood type in determine risk of acquisition or spread of coronavirus," Booth said.

At Any Lab Test Now, they're seeing an uptick in people wanting to know their blood types right now. A spokesperson for the American Red Cross said when people come in to donate blood, a lot of them are curious if they have COVID-19 antibodies.

At the end of the day, more research needs to be done. “So this is just something we’re going to continue to build and learn on," Booth said.