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Study finds genetic risk factors for severe COVID-19 illness

A massive worldwide collaboration including researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has identified several genetic factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19 illness. The findings from nearly 50,000 COVID-19 patients and 2 million uninfected controls, published July 8 in the journal Nature, could lead to new treatments and demonstrates the power of genetic studies to respond to the worldwide pandemic.

More than 3,500 scientists from 25 countries are participating in the effort, called the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative (HGI), which was founded in March 2020 by Andrea Ganna, PhD, and Mark Daly, PhD, of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland at the University of Helsinki and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.