Researchers Found Link Between COVID-19 Cases and Genetic Mutations

Feb, 2021 - By SMI

Researchers Found Link Between COVID-19 Cases and Genetic Mutations

The symptoms of Covid-19 vary from light to severe from person to persons. The presence of certain genes can reduce the symptoms of Covid-19.

According to the research at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, COVID-19 can be severe for some people, whereas mild for the others. Casanova, a researcher said that if a person has tested positive for coronavirus, then the person should definitely be checked for antibodies with regular check- ups. There is a possibility that removal of such antibodies from the blood could reduce the symptoms of COVID-19. Casanova's team, along with clinicians from across the world, began their study with  patients in February 2020. During the study, they focused on young people having severe symptoms of the disease to study if these patients have weak immune systems, which is the reason for them being prone to the virus. This included scanning of the genes involved in interferon immunity against the influenza. In people with good health, these interferon molecules act as security to the body.

Genetic mutations hindering the functioning of interferon were discovered by Casanova's team. People carrying these mutations are likely to be affected by certain pathogens, including the ones that cause influenza. According to the team, if similar mutations were found in people with COVID-19, doctors could identify patients who are at risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19. While examining patient samples, they found damaging mutations in young as well as old people. The researchers suspected that without  antiviral defenders, the COVID-19 patients would not be able to defend the virus. This made them realize that maybe patients with severe COVID-19 also lacked interferons but due to other reasons.

After examining 987 patients with the deadly COVID-19, they found 101 patients who had auto-antibodies against different interferon proteins. They discovered that these antibodies caused a blockage in interferon action and were not found in patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms.

This research has opened new doors for supply of vaccinations and potential treatments. Medical trials would help one examine whether having the auto antibodies will be beneficial.

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