Is it red blood cells or white blood cells that fight infections?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by petthebirb, Mar 18, 2020.

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Do red blood cells really fight disease or is this study bunkum?

  1. Study is flawed

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Red blood cells fight diseases

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. petthebirb Registered Member

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    This article has me very confused;

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/science...-blood-likely-catch-coronavirus.html#comments

    It's implying that red blood cells (ABO blood groups only affect the surface of red blood cells, but not white blood cells) fight disease, and I've been reading that this is blatantly wrong, since it is white blood cells that are involved in the immune response, not red blood cells, and thus blood type would have no effect on the course of an infection because red blood cells aren't involved in fighting diseases and blood groups don't affect the internal workings of a red blood cell anyway.
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    It is I suppose conceivable that the immune systems of type A people differ a bit on average from those with type O. We are only just starting to learn about the degree in variation in human beings when it comes to response to drugs, infection and so on.

    But I agree there does not seem reason to think the red blood cells, themselves, are involved in whatever may cause a difference.
     
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    While I generally agree with your sentiments regarding the Daily Hate, The source for this Mail article is here: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.11.20031096v1

    They point out it has not yet been peer-reviewed. So maybe it's a sound finding, or maybe not.
     
  8. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    14,562
    Yes. That's what I was looking for.

    To be clear, I wasn't slagging the paper just for gits and shiggles - any paper will tend to boil down a science story. Best to go to the source.
     
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  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    18,105
    Well, it's not saying that red blood cells fight disease. It's saying that people with different blood types are more or less susceptible to the disease. That's very different. For example, giving hypertonic saline to trauma victims (salty water) reduces infection risk. That doesn't mean that salt water fights infections; it just means that it changes something in the body that confers greater resistance to infection.
     
  10. petthebirb Registered Member

    Messages:
    4

    And how does it make them more or less susceptible if they're not involved in the immune response? That makes zero sense.
     
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    14,562
    It makes sense to me.
    Things can help or hinder fighting disease without directly fighting disease.
     
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    ?? Lots of drugs are not involved in the immune response and fight disease anyway. Think mefloquine.
     
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    9,552
    No, it makes sense. You can get two 2 characteristics that tend to be found together, without one being the cause of the other, due to some genetic feature that results in both.

    P.S. Why have you cast your vote in favour of red blood cells fighting disease, while denying this is possible?
     
  14. petthebirb Registered Member

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    4
    I didn't vote. Someone else did.
     
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    I am fairly sure this was Lisa L/ Gaiagirl/Frank Baker..... and all stations to Waterloo.....

    Anyway, now banned again, I'm pleased to see.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Yes. Sock puppet of a previously banned user.
     
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