Variation in genes associated with viral entry of SARS-CoV-2 unlikely to influence COVID-19 morbidity and mortality


In a study published in the journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution, scientists analyzed genetic variants from publicly available datasets including the 1000 Genomes Project to determine whether differences in genetic variation across populations may account for the observation that certain populations and ethnic groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The researchers examined variants in seven genes known to play a role in viral infection in host cells. These genes encode proteins that interact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) and trigger an immune response. Although variants were identified in these genes, few of the variants appear to alter the function of the proteins encoded by these genes. The researchers found that the frequency of variation in these genes was relatively low across populations, suggesting that factors other than genetic variation, such as preexisting conditions, environmental factors, or healthcare disparities, may affect the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 across different populations.

For more information, a short summary can be found on ScienceDaily. The complete research article, “A survey of genetic variants in SARS-CoV-2 interacting domains of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and TLR3/7/8 across populations.” by Lee et al., was published in Infection, Genetics and Evolution.

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