Covid, who is most at risk? The answer is in 13 regions of the DNA

Covid, who is most at risk: an international study has found a correlation between 13 sections of DNA and a greater possibility of contracting the Coronavirus

Why are some people at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 than others? The answer may come from a DNA study published today in Nature. The research would have identified 13 points in the human genome that are strongly associated with the risk of Coronavirus infection and the severity of the disease. Also, there are some symptoms to watch out for to verify that you have not been infected by the Delta variant.

The research is actually an international collaborative project which involved over 3,500 scientists and which includes 61 other studies from 25 countries. Almost 50,000 patients with Covid.-19 were taken into consideration for the data collection and 2 million checks were carried out on healthy people. As for Italy, the three Milanese universities of Humanitas, Università degli Studi and Bicocca participated in the project.

Covid, who is most at risk: here are the genetic markers linked to the risk and severity of the disease

Researchers found 13 pieces of DNA that are associated with an increased risk of contracting Covid-19 and experiencing severe symptoms of the disease. Two of these sections have higher frequencies in East and South Asian patients than in European ones. One in particular is close to the Foxp4 gene, which is linked to lung cancer. Inhibiting this gener could lead to a new cure for Covid-19. Other genes such as Dpp9 and Tyk2 are instead associated with lung cancer and autoimmune diseases, respectively.

“We have been much more successful than past experiences in understanding the role of genetic diversity because we have participated in a concerted effort to reach populations around the world,” said Stefano Duga, researcher at Humanitas and professor of molecular biology at Humanitas University. – There is still a lot of work to do, but we are on the right path to better understand this disease “.


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