People with Type A blood are more likely to be bitten by ticks, a study has found.
Scientists in the Czech Republic have found that ticks may be influenced by the “physiological or biochemical profile of an individual, such as their blood group.”
Lead researcher Alena Zakovska, from the University of Masaryk University, said that this means a “blood group of an individual can be one of the factors that increase the risk of tick bite and the transmission of dangerous diseases and must not be underestimated.”
Ticks are small parasitic animals that feast on the blood of humans and other mammals.
It’s thought 17 percent of ticks are infected with a bacteria that can cause potentially fatal Lyme disease.
Celebrities like Bella Hadid, her brother Anwar Hadid, Yolanda Hadid, Kelly Osborne have revealed they suffer from the condition.
The new study claimed that while ticks will avoid those with the blood group B, they gravitate towards those with blood type A.
The experiment saw a drop of blood of every blood type – A, B, AB or O – applied to a sterile layer of filter paper on a Petri dish.
The distances between individual drops were the same.
An Ixodes ricinus tick – aka a ‘sheep tick’ – was then placed in the petri dish and after two minutes Zakovska and her colleagues noted where the tick had moved to.
When the experiment was repeated hundreds of times using different ticks, in the majority of cases – 36 percent – the bugs began sucking on type A blood.
Blood type B, however, was the least palatable for the ticks, with just 15 percent choosing it.
Zakovska said the data has important implications when it comes to monitoring how ticks migrate and infect their host.
But until further tests are performed – potentially with human guinea pigs – she admitted researchers don’t yet know why ticks appear to prefer some blood types over another.
Zakovska said: “People with the risk blood type A should take appropriate measures to protect themselves more effectively, and decrease the risk of contracting dangerous diseases transmitted by ticks.”
Meanwhile, the study could also have important implications for dogs lovers.
Dogs, which are also prone to tick bites and can be infected with Lyme disease – have around 12 distinct blood types.
Veterinary surgeon Iain Booth, MD of pet medication retailer VetUK, said: “It’d be interesting to see a study where ticks showed a preference for certain types of canine blood.
“What we do know for certain is that all dogs, and cats, are vulnerable to ticks, and they can prove a real risk to a pet’s health.
“Always ensure you check your pet’s coat for unwanted stowaways, particularly after you’ve been walking in long grass or forested areas.
“You should also be using medicated flea and tick treatment, which causes the tick to die within 24 hours of biting a treated pet.
“Meanwhile you should also have a good understanding of how to correctly remove a tick from the skin.
“If you get it wrong, and you fail to remove the parasite properly, it will regurgitate its stomach contents back into the host’s bloodstream, leaving you or your pet even more at risk of infection.”
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