Systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of ABO blood group on the risk of COVID-19 infection
We have been experiencing a global pandemic with baleful consequences for mankind, since the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified in Wuhan of China, in December 2019. So far, several potential risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection have been identified. Among them, the role of ABO blood group polymorphisms has been studied with results that are still unclear. The aim of this study was to collect and meta-analyze available studies on the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and different blood groups, as well as Rhesus state. We performed a systematic search on PubMed/MEDLINE and Scopus databases for published articles and preprints. Twenty-two studies, after the removal of duplicates, met the inclusion criteria for meta-analysis with ten of them also including information on Rhesus factor. The odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for the extracted data. Random-effects models were used to obtain the overall pooled ORs. Publication bias and sensitivity analysis were also performed. Our results indicate that blood groups A, B and AB have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection compared to blood group O, which appears to have a protective effect. An association between Rhesus state and COVID-19 infection could not be estabished.