People with the blood group A would be at a higher risk of being bitten by a tick, among which arachnids may also be those that can cause Lyme disease with fatal potential, according to a study in the Czech Republic quoted on Tuesday by APP .
The ticks are bacterial-bearing parasites, which feed on blood and are spread especially in areas with rich vegetation.
In the laboratory tests, researchers at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic dropped small blood samples from groups A, B, AB and 0 on a sterile surface where a common tick, Ixodes ricinus, was then placed. The scientists monitored its movements for two minutes.
The results showed that 36% of the ticks preferred blood group A, while 15% of the parasites leaned toward group B.
The study demonstrates that the blood group could be one of the determining factors for food preferences of Ixodes ricinus ticks, noted researcher Alena Zakovska of the university.
The information obtained on the potential preference of ticks for certain blood groups can be used to reduce the risk of tick bites, the specialist added.
The ticks generally have a flat oval body of the size of a sesame seed, but after they feed on blood, they can reach the size and shape of a coffee bean.
These arachnids are looking for hosts to cling to, and if they are not around, they often climb the top of a grass and wait.
According to estimates, 17% of the ticks are infected with a bacterium – Borrelia – which can cause Lyme disease, a condition characterized by fever, headache and a circular rash around the bite.
For this association to be confirmed and to determine precisely whether these arachnids prefer a particular blood group, it is necessary to deepen these studies, the scientists have pointed out in Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine.