New Stats Show Some Blood Types More Likely To Have COVID-19 Antibodies

Wednesday, April 21st 2021, 4:56 pm
By: Erica Rankin

The Oklahoma Blood Institute has been testing for antibodies in blood since last May.

It has been a piece of the puzzle to this virus they have been working to gather more information about.

Initial studies out of China early on in the pandemic suggested those with the A blood type were infected with COVID-19 more often.

“We were like, well this is early data, it is hard to know,” said Dr. John Armitage, the Oklahoma Blood Institute president and CEO. “That was just the early experience in China, and over time, it came true that there is a reason why that is probably true.”

After a year of collecting data from antibody testing at OBI, they noticed that to be true based on numbers in the state.

They found that just over 18% of the 50,000 people tested for antibodies with type A blood had them.

In comparison to the 70,000 people with O blood type, where over 15% had antibodies to the virus. That was a just over 2.5% difference.

Armitage said though the difference is slight, there a reason for it.

“People with the A blood type also have the same molecule that creates the blood type is on the lining of their respiratory tract and how they breathe and it might make it stickier for the virus,” said Armitage.

Despite the state's stats, OU Health’s chief COVID-19 officer Dr. Dale Bratzler said blood type was not a factor in susceptibility to the disease in a larger study done recently.

“I just don’t think we have enough evidence to say blood type gives you any particular protection,” Bratzler said.

The OBI will stop antibody testing at the end of May.