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Host Effects

A new analysis has uncovered more than five dozen human genes associated with COVID-19 severity, the Financial Times reports.

In a preprint posted to MedRxiv, researchers from the analytics firm PrecisionLife sifted through COVID-19 data from the UK Biobank. Using the firm's PrecisionLife tool, the researchers conducted a case-control analysis to identify 68 genes linked to severe COVID-19. A dozen of the genes they homed in on are involved in host immune response to disease, while others are involved in inflammatory pathways or are expressed by the cardiovascular system. 

This analysis, FT notes, is one of a recent handful that have implicated host variations in disease severity. Last week, a report appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine noted ties between ABO blood group genes and COVID-19 severity as well as between the ACE2 receptor and COVID-19 severity.

FT adds there are two research consortiums — the Covid-19 Host Genetics Initiative and the Covid Human Genetic Effort — now aimed at uncovering genetic alterations that make people susceptible to or protect them from severe COVID-19.