The association between ABO blood group and SARS-CoV-2 infection: A meta-analysis

PLoS One. 2020 Sep 18;15(9):e0239508. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239508. eCollection 2020.


At present, existing evidence about the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and ABO blood group polymorphism is preliminary and controversial. In this meta-analysis we investigate this association and determine SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals' odds of having a specific blood group compared to controls. We performed a systematic search on MEDLINE and LitCovid databases for studies published through July 15, 2020. Seven studies met inclusion criteria for meta-analysis, including a total of 13 subgroups of populations (7503 SARS-CoV-2 positive cases and 2962160 controls). We analysed the odds of having each blood group among SARS-CoV-2 positive patients compared with controls. Random-effects models were used to obtain the overall pooled odds ratio (OR). Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were performed in order to explore the source of heterogeneity and results consistency. The results of our meta-analysis indicate that SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals are more likely to have blood group A (pooled OR 1.23, 95%CI: 1.09-1.40) and less likely to have blood group O (pooled OR = 0.77, 95%CI: 0.67-0.88). Further studies are needed to investigate the mechanisms at the basis of this association, which may affect the kinetics of the pandemic according to the blood group distribution within the population.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • ABO Blood-Group System*
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronavirus Infections / blood*
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / blood*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • ABO Blood-Group System

Grants and funding

The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.