Why Does COVID-19 Behave Differently Everywhere? Scientists Find A Gene That Reduces Severity

We are already in the third year of the COVID pandemic, and now a new coronavirus variant called Omicron is dominating the world. Since it was first discovered last November, the new variant of the coronavirus has infected a large number of people across the world. The number of infections has been climbing at an exponential rate, with the United States and the United Kingdom being the worst-hit countries.

While it has had a significant impact on some nations, with a high number of fatalities and widespread infection, the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, has largely spared others, producing the only minor infection. Covid-19’s behaviour has perplexed researchers since the outbreak began. It is possible that a group of European experts has figured out why COVID behaves differently in different places.

Gene Reduces COVID-19 Severity By 20%

According to a study published in Nature Genetics, the reason behind the different behaviour of COVID-19 is possibly due to a gene that reduces the severity of coronavirus infections by 20 per cent. Further explaining the reason why SARS-CoV-2 might be affecting some people harder than others, the Swedish researchers found this particular gene to be responsible for it.

As per the study, the presence of this gene differs depending on ethnicity. One In every three people with white European heritage carries the gene. According to the study, it is found in eight out of ten people of African ancestry.

Scientists claim that the gene instructs the body to produce a protein that it can break down SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID. They also noted that the gene also determines the length of the protein OAS-1, which is better at breaking down SARS-CoV-2, when it is longer.

How Was The Gene Identified?

Previous research on persons of European heritage has discovered the existence of a DNA sequence that reduces the risk of severe COVID-19 disease by 20%. This gene is inherited from Neanderthals, according to the study. For the study, the results of six investigations on COVID-19 severity were studied. Researchers examined over 3,000 cases of people with African heritage in all. It discovered a little fragment of DNA that is shared by people of European descent.

The authors of the study said that the results of the study help understand the genetic risk factors in detail, which could help develop new drugs against COVID-19.

(With inputs from agencies)

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