Susceptibility to coronavirus on the basis of your DNA

COVID-19 en jouw DNA

COVID-19 and your DNA

A great deal of research is being carried out into the influence of genetic factors and the seriousness of the symptoms that people may experience if they are infected with coronavirus. Why does one person barely notice the infection, while another becomes critically ill?

Besides risk factors such as age and being overweight, it is clear that genetic variations in your DNA also play a role in determining the extent and the seriousness of the symptoms you experience. This was also the case for the coronavirus that caused the SARS epidemic in 2003.

What do we already know?

Recently, a rare DNA mutation in the TLR7 gene was linked to the severe course of COVID-19 in two brothers. This gene plays an important role in pathogen recognition and activation of the immune system (1). The mutation in question is extremely rare, however.

There is also research suggesting that a person’s ABO blood group may be a factor in the development of serious symptoms. A major study amongst Spanish and Italian COVID-19 patients who had been admitted to hospital revealed that patients with blood group A were at greater risk of experiencing a more serious course of the disease. Blood group O could potentially have a protective effect (2).  

We are keeping a close eye on all developments. As soon as the above results are confirmed by other scientific studies, or other new insights become available, we will incorporate this information into our app. You will then have immediate access to the latest scientific insights relating to genetic susceptibility to COVID-19.

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References:

  • (1) van der Made, Caspar I., et al. “Presence of Genetic Variants Among Young Men With Severe COVID-19.” Jama (2020).
  • (2) Ellinghaus, David, et al. “Genomewide association study of severe Covid-19 with respiratory failure.” New England Journal of Medicine (2020).