An international study, with Spanish participation, located 11 new positions in the chromosomes involved in susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and in the clinical severity of covid-19.

This macro-study analyzes 125,584 cases of infection in 25 countries, including Spain, to locate genetic determinants of the response to SARS-CoV-2, and its conclusions are essential to understand the biological mechanisms of the disease, find effective treatments and protect people. potentially more vulnerable people.

The results are published in the journal Nature and among the genes found it is worth highlighting certain genes encoding pulmonary surfactants that have a key role in lung function, reports the Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in a statement.

CSIC researcher Anna Planas, from the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute (IIBB-CSIC, northeastern Spain), recalls that susceptibility and response to viral infections varies between people, as the current SARS pandemic revealed -VOC-2

“Environmental and social factors contribute to the risk of contracting the infection, while male gender, older age and the presence of other diseases contribute to the risk of developing severe covid-19,” she summarizes.

However, she adds, people’s genetic factors also increase the likelihood of contracting the infection, needing hospitalization or developing critical covid-19.

The results obtained in this study are the result of the COVID Host Genetic Initiative international consortium, which searches for common genetic variants in the population that may increase the risk of infection or of developing severe covid-19.

To do this, this consortium carries out studies on thousands of patients. The present work is an update with a larger number of patients of a study that this consortium published in July 2021.

It now presents a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 125,584 infection cases and more than 2.5 million controls collected from 25 countries across 60 different studies.

The CSIC provided genetic data from 236 patients and 654 controls; the data analysis of this cohort was led by Israel Fernández Cadenas, from the Spanish Research Institute of the Hospital de Sant Pau (IIB Sant Pau).

“In this new work, we expand the map that we began last year and almost double the number of regions and chromosomes studied, going from 13 to 23”, details the researcher.

In addition, samples from all over the world were included, improving the knowledge of the biological processes that cause the severe symptoms of covid-19.

Among these studies is the InmunGen-CoV2 project, included in the CSIC Global Health platform, and which brings together researchers from various Spanish CSIC institutes (the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute, the Valencia Biomedicine Institute, the National Center of Biotechnology and the Institute of Physics of Cantabria), the Research Institute of the Hospital de Sant Pau and the Idibaps-Hospital Clínic of Barcelona.

It also has the collaboration of researchers from the Vall d’Hebron Hospital, the Mutua de Terrassa, the Central University Hospital of Asturias and the University Hospital of Valladolid.

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