Scientists have identified genes that put people at higher chances of developing severe COVID-19. They attribute it to having genetic risk variants in the ABO gene.
This might significantly increase the chances of developing COVID-19, and other genes may also increase the risk, as per researchers.
Because DNA is a big, complex molecule. And genetic associations alone cannot pinpoint the exact gene responsible for contraction.
“But by combining COVID-19 genetic information with gene expression and proteomic datasets, we can figure out which genes are driving the relationship with COVID-19,” says Ana Hernandez Cordero, a postdoctoral fellow with the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation, University of British Columbia.
In addition to the ABO gene, the researchers found that people carrying certain genetic variants for SLC6A20, ERMP1, FCER1G and CA11 have a significantly higher risk of contracting the virus.
Moreover, many of the genes in the researchers’ analysis have a link with respiratory diseases.
How did they identify this COVID-19 gene?
The researchers combined genetic information with an examination of lung gene expression. This helped them identify genetic variants that were controlling gene expression in the lung that was responsible for the coronavirus