Gene found to increase risk of COVID-19 death


Oxford University scientists announced that they have found that a gene in humans seriously increases the risk of death from COVID-19.

Scientists have identified a gene that they think increases the risk of COVID-19 death. Researchers think the gene in question causes a person to get severe infections. Also, because of problems in this gene, the risk of death is doubled for people under the age of 60.

The LZTFL1 gene regulates lung cells against infections. But this is not the case in a risky variant of the gene. Because a new study shows that this gene does not fight enough to protect the lungs from the coronavirus agent SARS-CoV-2.

Does not adequately protect the lungs against COVID-19 infection!

The gene type that increases the risk of serious illness and death in COVID-19 has been the subject of discussion. The gene is present in 60 percent of people of South Asian descent, 15 percent of people of European descent, 2.4 percent of people of African descent, and 1.8 percent of people of East Asian descent.

The leader of the COVID-19 study, James Davies, professor of genomics at Oxford University, spoke about this study. Speaking to Live Science, Dr. “It’s one of the slightly more common genetic signals,” Davies said. That’s why it’s the most important genetic target in COVID-19.” said.

In addition, the research team emphasized that no gene can fully explain this situation. In this regard, Dr. Davies said many factors play a role. For example, we might include both how much exposure a person has been exposed to the virus and the quality of healthcare they receive when sick. However, age, other health conditions and socioeconomic status also affect the severity of the disease. To give an example in this regard, India is quite ideal. Because during the delta variant wave, there was no room in the hospitals and serious problems were experienced in the country.

However, they suggest that the risky variant of the LZTFL1 gene has a notable effect. The researchers noted that this gene increases the risk of COVID-19 in people aged 20 to 60 years. Moreover, the risk doubles for every ten years in this age range.

Scientists meticulously studied the gene

The researchers first conducted a genome-wide study. They compared the genomes of a group of patients with severe COVID-19 with respiratory failure to the genomes of a control group with no evidence of infection or a history of infection with mild symptoms. The team found that there was a set of genes that were more common in patients with severe infections than in the control group.

With all these findings, co-leader Jim Hughes, professor of gene editing at Oxford University, said it’s not easy to figure out which of these genes increases risk. Hughes noted that variations in genes are often inherited as a block. So it makes it difficult to figure out which variation is responsible.

While genetic sequences are found in every cell in the body, they only affect a few cell types. Researchers tried to detect the gene type in question with a different method. The team used machine learning that predicts cell type based on the function of an accelerator and its DNA sequence.

In the study, the researchers found that the gene in question was in lung cells. Finally, the team stressed that more research is needed for proof. In addition, the team recently published this study in Nature Genetics.