Yale University found “death formula” from coronavirus
Scientists have identified genes that increase the risk of mortality
It seems that American and British researchers have succeeded in expanding the “death formula” from COVID-19, previously discovered by Chinese scientists. In addition to previously established reasons that accelerate the negative development of the disease, such as a decrease in the level of leukocytes in the blood, they found eight dangerous gene mutations, which, in the event of infection with coronavirus, lead to an increased likelihood of death. Research published on medRxiv preprint server.
Scientists at Yale University used 1778 people stored in the UK biobank for their research. 445 of them died from COVID-19. Having studied the sequence of the genomes, experts found something unifying in the deceased, namely eight mutated genes in the 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 16th and 17th chromosomes. This was not succeeded immediately, but only after studying the combinations of different forms of the same gene in many chromosome variants.
One of the mutations (chr2_19), scientists identified in the second chromosome associated with the DNAH7 gene. It must control the movement of cilia – tiny hairs in the airways that help the body clear mucus. It turns out that the gene defect disrupted this function and allowed the virus to enter the body faster.
Another mutation – chr16_4 – was associated with the formation of the aforementioned cilia themselves. If the first variety increases mortality by 25%, then this one leads to death in almost 70% of cases.
Other genetic variants affecting survival were found to be associated with imperfect work of the cardiovascular system, a tendency to increased thrombus formation, disruption of mitochondrial DNA and weakened immunity.
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According to the doctor of biological sciences, the head of the laboratory of the Institute of Molecular Biology. Engelhardt of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolai Churikov, the results of such works cannot yet be considered as a guide for practical application. Firstly, according to the authors themselves, the data were obtained only for the white population of the British, and secondly, additional research is required – the article was published in the journal of preprints, that is, until it received a review from specialists.
But in general, the search for genes that can accelerate the negative course of diseases is the right way. If it is confirmed that eight genes from the seven indicated chromosomes are responsible for such a course of COVID-19, then in the future it will be possible to pay attention to these point mutations during genetic analysis. If they are, then the person is at risk for COVID-19 and he needs to take more care of himself.