Discovery of 11 new genetic regions involved in the severity of covid-19

An international study with the participation of the Superior Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) has located 11 new positions in the chromosomes involved in susceptibility to infection by SARS-CoV-2 and in the clinical severity of covid-19. The work is published today in the magazine Nature.

Identifying these genetic determinants involved in the response to the virus is key to finding effective treatments and protecting potentially more vulnerable people.

The identification of these genetic determinants involved in the response to the virus is essential to understanding the biological mechanisms underlying the disease, finding effective treatments and protecting those potentially most vulnerable. Among the discoveries, it is worth highlighting certain genes coding for pulmonary surfactants, with a key role in respiration.

“Sensitivity and response to viral infections vary from person to person. Environmental and social factors contribute to the risk of contracting the infection, while male sex, advanced age and the presence of other diseases contribute to the risk of developing severe covid-19,” he explains. Anna Planasfrom the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona (IIBB-CSIC).

“However, certain genetic factors also increase the likelihood of contracting the infection, requiring hospitalization or developing critical covid-19,” he adds.

Testimonials from thousands of people

The results obtained are the fruit of the international consortium COVID Host Genetics Initiativein charge of research common genetic variants in the population that may increase the risk of infection or developing severe covid-19. To do this, the group carries out studies on thousands of patients.

The present work is an update with more patients of a paper that this consortium published in July 2021. It now presents a meta-analysis genome-wide association studies (GWAS) 125,584 cases of infection and more than 2.5 million checks collected in 25 countries across 60 different studies.

Spain’s participation

The CSIC provided genetic data for 236 patients and 654 controls. Analysis of data from this cohort was conducted by Israel Fernandez Cadenasfrom the Research Institute of the Hospital de Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau).

This work presents a meta-analysis of 125,584 cases of infection and more than 2.5 million witnesses collected in 25 countries through 60 different studies.

“In this new work, we are expanding the map we started last year and almost doubling the number of regions and chromosomes studied, from 13 to 23. Additionally, samples from around the world have been included, improving our knowledge of the biology processes that cause the severe symptoms of covid-19,” says Fernández-Cadenas.

Among these studies is the InmunGen-CoV2 project, included in the Platform Global Health of the CSIC, and which brings together researchers from various institutes of the Spanish entity.

Source: SINC

Rights: Creative Commons.

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