COVID-19 Genetics: Current Status
Interindividual clinical variability characterizes COVID-19 infection, ranging from no or mild symptoms in >95% of individuals to severe and life-threatening acute respiratory distress syndrome with bilateral pneumonia requiring intensive care unit monitoring in <0.5% of infected individuals. The host genetic background seems to determine the susceptibility and outcome in COVID-19 patients. Several relevant genetic variants and risk genes have been identified, relating to blood type, HLA system, angiotensin converting enzyme and other proteins, cytokines, and other host genetic signals and immune system’s specific response. On the other hand, emerging new variants of the COVID-19 virus with enhanced transmissibility/infectivity and immune escape ability pose new risks, especially if they are going to have an impact on the efficacy of currently available vaccines. All these issues relating to the impact of genetics on COVID-19 selectivity are herein reviewed. Rhythmos 2021;16(3): 48-56.
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