Amid the surging cases of COVID-19 worldwide with new and more infectious variants being introduced, researchers in Sweden have identified a precise gene variant that offers protection against severe coronavirus infections.
Sources claim that the research conducted at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden identified the new gene variant by examining people of varied ancestries. The results of the study published in the journal named Natural Genetic show that genes control whether the magnitude of the COVID-19 infection will be severe or mild.
As per credible sources, the previous studies conducted on people of European ancestry have found out that the people with a certain DNA segment have a 20% lesser risk of developing a severe COVID-19 infection. Apparently, the DNA inherited from Neanderthals is present in nearly all the people outside Africa, encodes genes in the immune system.
However, identification of the protective gene variant becomes a challenge as the entire region of DNA has numerous genetic variants packed within. It has been reported that the identification of this variant is crucial as it might help in medical treatment against coronavirus infection.
For the uninitiated, to identify the gene variant, researchers are mainly focusing on people with African ancestry without the connection from the Neanderthals. Moreover, the DNA amongst people of both the European and African ancestry have the same gene variant.
According to sources, in the analysis based on the hospitalization of the COVID-19 patients, 2787 patients were from the African origin and the remaining 130,997 were people from six group studies.
It has been speculated that the protective gene variant, rs10774671-G, tells us about the extent of the protein determined by the gene OAS1.
Furthermore, studies reflect that long variants of the protein are more efficient to dissolve the virus that cause COVID-19.