A Caution in Association of ABO Blood Group with COVID-19

Fengyu Zhang and Claude Hughes

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has evoked unprecedented intensive research efforts by bio-medical scientists and physicians in a wide range of rese-arch and healthcare institutions. These efforts have led to an increased number of scientific papers and manuscripts, which are beginning to shape our understanding of the virus and its genomic structure, patterns of pathophysiology, clinical manifestation and features, options for therapeutic development and management, as well as preventative health measures that have already been implemented or are foreseeable. In this fast-paced research and reporting milieu, a concern is that suitable rigor of study must be applied, so that sound scientific and medical conclusions can be reached. An appropriate part of the process that makes discoveries accessible as soon as possible has proven to be that of researchers uploading their manuscripts onto the preprint servers for preliminary publications, so that observations can reach a broad readership even when the peer-review process has not been completed. Nonetheless, some of the many manuscripts without peer-review may have caused confusion or triggered controversy due to inadequate attention to a rigorous design at the outset, which may lead to inconsistent replication of the results. The flood of fast-paced publications, including manuscripts on the preprint servers, has already caused a concern in the society (1). As an illustration, in this commentary, we will address some aspects of needed scientific rigor regarding ABO blood biomarkers for COVID-19 susceptibility, which is deter-mined by the infectious agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and host factors that may modify individual’s clinical course of COVID-19 after being infected.


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