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.
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
- DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2818-3