About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Genetic Variations Tied to COVID-19 Disease Severity

by Iswarya on November 26, 2020 at 11:33 AM
Font : A-A+

Genetic Variations Tied to COVID-19 Disease Severity

With Coronavirus being the most experimented field in the past few months', a new study sheds light on the genetic risk factors that make people more or less susceptible to severe COVID-19. The findings of the study are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

New research led by Robert E. Gerszten, MD, Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) illuminate the mechanisms underlying COVID-19 and potentially open the door to novel treatments for the disease.

Advertisement


"Patients with COVID-19 display a wide array of clinical manifestations and degrees of severity, ranging from flu-like symptoms to acute respiratory distress," said Gerszten, who is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

"While pre-existing conditions, particularly cardiovascular and metabolic disease, are risk factors for disease severity and outcomes, the underlying reasons that some people develop the life-threatening disease while others remain asymptomatic are not well understood."
Advertisement

A growing body of genetic evidence from patients in China, Europe, and the United States links COVID-19 outcomes to variations in two regions of the human genome, findings which were published in the NEJM. But the statistical association doesn't explain how the differences modulate disease. To do that, scientists need to understand which proteins these sections of the genome code for and the role these proteins play in the body in the context of disease.

Over the last decade, Gerszten and colleagues have generated just such a database -- an immense library of all the proteins and metabolites associated with various regions of the human genome. When they looked up one genomic "hot spot" found to be associated with COVID-19 disease severity, they quickly realized that the very same region was linked to a protein that has recently been implicated in the process by which the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects human cells.

"Groups are increasingly finding genomic hotspots related to diseases, but it's often not clear how they impact the mechanisms of disease," said Gerszten.

"We leveraged our huge database -- it's more than 100 terabytes' worth of data -- to very quickly determine that the protein most highly expressed by that region turned out to be a co-receptor for the virus that causes COVID-19, suggesting that this might be a target for therapeutic interventions. The so-called antibody cocktails currently available mostly target the spike proteins on the virus. In turn, our work identifies which proteins in the human body that SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses latch on to."

The second region was linked to a poorly understood protein that appears to play a role in attracting immune cells called lymphocytes to sites of infection, which also merits further study. Early analyses from their work also suggest that these genetic variants and proteins may vary across races. Taken together, these findings provide important contributions as the scientific community works rapidly to understand the mysteries of COVID-19.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
World Hypertension Day 2022 - Measure Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!
Drinking This Popular Beverage May Drop Dementia Risk
Worst Mistakes Parents Make When Talking to Kids
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Genetics and Stem Cells Christianson Syndrome Neck Cracking Coronavirus Indian Namaste the Preferred Greeting over Conventional Handshake COVID in Children COVID Vaccination for Pregnant Women COVID-19 Vaccine: Myths and Facts Mental Health during COVID-19: Top Tips to Manage COVID Anxiety, Depression How to Find Joy and Hope during COVID Times 

Most Popular on Medindia

Noscaphene (Noscapine) Blood Donation - Recipients Post-Nasal Drip Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Daily Calorie Requirements Find a Doctor Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Blood Pressure Calculator Diaphragmatic Hernia

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use