Association of ABO blood groups with presentation and outcomes of confirmed SARS CoV-2 infection: A prospective study in the largest COVID-19 dedicated hospital in Bangladesh

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PLoS One. 2021 Apr 7;16(4):e0249252. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0249252. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND: Globally, studies have shown conflicting results regarding the association of blood groups with SARS CoV-2 infection.

OBJECTIVE: To observe the association between ABO blood groups and the presentation and outcomes of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This was a prospective cohort study of patients with mild-to-moderately severe COVID-19 infections who presented in the COVID-19 unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital and were enrolled between 01 June and 25 August, 2020. Patients were followed up for at least 30 days after disease onset. We grouped participants with A-positive and A-negative blood groups into group I and participants with other blood groups into group II.

RESULTS: The cohort included 438 patients; 52 patients were lost to follow-up, five died, and 381 completed the study. The prevalence of blood group A [144 (32.9%)] was significantly higher among COVID-19 patients than in the general population (p < 0.001). The presenting age [mean (SD)] of group I [42.1 (14.5)] was higher than that of group II [38.8 (12.4), p = 0.014]. Sex (p = 0.23) and co-morbidity (hypertension, p = 0.34; diabetes, p = 0.13) did not differ between the patients in groups I and II. No differences were observed regarding important presenting symptoms, including fever (p = 0.72), cough (p = 0.69), and respiratory distress (p = 0.09). There was no significant difference in the median duration of symptoms in the two group (12 days), and conversion to the next level of severity was observed in 26 (20.6%) and 36 patients (13.8%) in group I and II, respectively. However, persistent positivity of RT-PCR at 14 days of initial positivity was more frequent among the patients in group I [24 (19%)] than among those in group II [29 (11.1%)].

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of blood group A was higher among COVID-19 patients. Although ABO blood groups were not associated with the presentation or recovery period of COVID-19, patients with blood group A had delayed seroconversion.

PMID:33826648 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0249252