A new study suggests that a person’s blood type could impact their susceptibility to COVID-19.

Published on March 3, 2021 in the scientific journal Blood Advances, the study indicates that the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV2, appears to have a blood type preference. In particular, COVID-19 seems to gravitate towards blood group A in respiratory cells. The same can’t be said for red blood cells in the same group. The study also shows that there’s no preference towards respiratory or red blood cells in type B and O blood groups.

It’s worth pointing out that the study does not show that people with blood types B and O are immune to the virus, but it does suggest that blood type A individuals are more likely to get infected. Scientists have stressed that the study does not offer a clear indication on how COVID-19 impacts people of different blood types, but it is a step forward for coronavirus research.

“It is interesting that the viral RBD only really prefers the type of blood group A antigens that are on respiratory cells, which are presumably how the virus is entering most patients and infecting them,” said Sean Stowell, co-author of the study. “Blood type is a challenge because it is inherited and not something we can change. … But if we can better understand how the virus interacts with blood groups in people, we may be able to find new medicines or methods of prevention.”

Blood Advances published a similar study last year that showed people with blood type O were the least likely to get infected by COVID-19.