Friday, December 18, 2020

Looking into the genetics of severe COVID-19

 
Researchers have looked at whether there are genetic influences on who experiences a case of severe COVID-19.

John Timmer
arsTECHNICA

The body's response to SARS-CoV-2 infection range from imperceptible to death, raising an obvious question: what makes the difference? If we could identify the factors that make COVID-19 so dangerous for some people, we could do our best to address these factors and provide extra protections for those who are at highest risk. But aside from the obvious—health disparities associated with poverty and race seem to be at play here, too—we've had trouble identifying the factors that make a difference.

A recently published study takes a look at one potential influence: genetics. In a large study of UK COVID-19 patients, researchers have found a number of genes that appear to be associated with severe cases, most of them involved in immune function. But the results don't clarify how immune function is linked to the disease's progression.  Read more >>