This genetic variant significantly reduces the risk of death –

Corona: Gene variant reduces COVID-19 mortality risk by a third

Relatively few people have been shown to become so seriously ill with a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection that they die from it. The severity of the disease course also depends on genes: researchers have now found that people with a certain genetic variant have a one-third reduced risk of dying from a severe course of COVID-19.

Due to a certain genetic variant, many people have a significantly lower risk of dying from COVID-19 if infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. That's according to a new study recently published in the journal Frontiers of Genetics.

About 35% less risk of death

According to a recent announcement, research teams from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) followed the course of the disease from March 11, 2020 to June 30, 2021 in a total of 1,570 patients who tested positive. for SARS-CoV-2.

The study team, led by Dr. Birte Möhlendick from the Institute of Pharmacogenetics at the University Hospital Essen has published the results of the largest German study on COVID-19 in the renowned journal "Frontiers in Genetics".

The study shows that those who carry a certain genetic variant have about a 35% lower risk of dying from a severe course of COVID-19.

About one in ten people in Europe are affected

“These study results are still very relevant,” says the director of the Institute of Pharmacogenetics, Prof. Dr. Winfried Siffert. "After all, the pandemic is not over yet and we are again seeing a slight increase in the number of hospitalizations."

According to the information, 205 (13%) of all study participants had a mild course, i.e. they could be treated on an outpatient basis, while 760 (48%) had to be hospitalized. 292 people (19%) had to be treated in intensive care and 313 people died (20%).

"As already known, we were also able to observe that younger age and the absence of cardiovascular disease or diabetes halve the risk of dying after infection with SARS-CoV-2", explains Dr. .moehlendick.

"But what is particularly amazing and a completely new finding so far is that the GNB3 TT gene variant reduces the risk of dying by 35%," says Dr. moehlendick. About ten percent of the European population carries this variant.

Stronger response to SARS-CoV-2

In cooperation with the Clinic for Infectious Diseases and the Institute for Transfusion Medicine, the team was also able to show that the immune cells of people with a mild course reacted more strongly to the corona virus in laboratory tests than the cells of people with a severe course. of the disease.

"We were also able to show that the cells of people carrying the GNB3 TT genotype reacted most strongly to the coronavirus, which may explain why the risk of death is so greatly reduced in these gene carriers", explains Dr. Moehlendick further. .

According to the researchers, studies are currently underway to determine which other gene variants have an influence on COVID-19. (ad)

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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


University of Duisburg-Essen: COVID-19: Gene variant reduces risk of death by a third, (Accessed: August 8, 2022), University of Duisburg-EssenMöhlendick B, Schönfelder K, Zacher C, Elsner C, Rohn H , Konik MJ, Thümmler L, Rebmann V, Lindemann M, Jöckel KH, Siffert W: GNB3 c.825C>T (rs5443) polymorphism and protection against fatal outcome of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) ; in: Frontiers in Genetics, (published: 07/15/2022), Frontiers in Genetics

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