The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals | Abstract VIA: NATURE.COM

The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals  - NATURE.COM
The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals – NATURE.COM
Abstract

A recent genetic association study1 identified a gene cluster on chromosome 3 as a risk locus for respiratory failure upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. A new study2 comprising 3,199 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and controls finds that this is the major genetic risk factor for severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and hospitalization (COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative). Here, we show that the risk is conferred by a genomic segment of ~50 kb that is inherited from Neanderthals and is carried by ~50% of people in South Asia and ~16% of people in Europe today.

This gene fragment of 49.4 kb size was inherited from the Neanderthals and occurred in around 30 percent of the South Asian population and 8 percent of the European population. In Bangladesh, for example, 63 percent carry at least one copy of this risk factor gene. In East Asia, the gene is present in around 4 percent of individuals, the team wrote. It is absent in African populations, they added.

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Correspondence to Hugo Zeberg or Svante Pääbo.

Zeberg, H., Pääbo, S. The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is inherited from Neanderthals. Nature (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2818-3

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