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Researchers identify genetic markers linked to COVID-19 severity and susceptibility

In collaboration with Northwestern Medicine investigators, an international multi-center study has identified genetic factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 severity, according to findings published in Nature.

Genetics are instrumental in determining a person’s susceptibility and responsiveness to viral infections, in conjunction with other environmental, clinical and social factors. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, identifying the precise role of human genetics could reveal critical insights into the development of the disease and the effectiveness of treatments, according to the authors. For the current study, named the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative, Perera’s laboratory collaborated with an international team of investigators to compile results from three genome-wide association meta-analyses. This data comprised more than 49,000 patients with COVID-19 from 46 studies across 19 different countries.