German-led Research Team Links Covid-19 to Blood Group


June 2020

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The world-renowned New England Journal of Medicine has published a European study by a research team at the Christian Albrecht University of Kiel in northern Germany that found blood type may hold a key to people’s susceptibility to coronavirus-related illnesses.

It may also help answer the question of why some people who contract the virus fall seriously ill while others display few to no symptoms.

Research showed that people with blood type A had a 45 percent higher chance of developing severe ailments, whereas people with type O were almost 50 percent better protected against the disease

“We found the results very exciting and surprising,” the team leader, Professor of Molecular Medicine Andre Franke, said on the university’s homepage.  “Our results thus provide an excellent basis for developing therapeutics.”

The researchers believe they have also established a link between severe cases of Covid-19 and a specific human chromosome and hope that this will dramatically improve testing results for medications.

They also said that further progress could be made as more information is collected from patients over time.

“The study also shows the importance of concepts like medical data donations for public health,” commented Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) Director of Chemicals and Health Marcus Schmidt. “The more anonymous patient data is shared and analyzed, the easier and faster vaccines and medications can be developed.”

Prof. Dr. David Ellinghaus and Frauke Degenhardt, authors of the study © UKSH

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