Genetic variability in the human immune system can affect the susceptibility and severity of the coronavirus infection responsible for Covid 19. For example, monitoring a parameter can help figure out who gets vaccinated first. The research was published today, April 17 in Journal of Virology , a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.
Individual genetic variations may explain the differences in the strength of immune responses. Some immune system genes, called human leukocyte antigen genes involved in pathogen recognition, vary from person to person. Variations can affect how the immune system recognizes a particular pathogen. Poor recognition of SARS-CoV-2 could make a person more vulnerable to the virus.
In particular, it is important to understand how variation in HLA, a component of the immune system containing multiple genes, can influence the course of infection with coronavirus. Finding out could help identify individuals at higher risk for the disease.Austin Nguyen, co-author of the study
The authors show that single HLA, haplotype, and complete genotype variability influence the responsiveness to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Also, the thing that appears most interesting is that some alleles in particular they are associated with a more severe infection. The SARS virus also proved this.
"This is perhaps the first study to report global distributions of HLA types and haplotypes with potential epidemiological ramifications in the context of the current pandemic", write the authors ofOregon Health & Science University of Portland and Portland VA Research Foundation among the conclusions of their study.
A test can determine who needs to be vaccinated most urgently
"HLA typing can be fast and cheap", the authors write. "Associating HLA typing with Covid-19 testing where possible could improve the assessment of viral severity in the population."
In other words, with the development of a coronavirus vaccine, individuals with high-risk types of HLA could receive the vaccination earlier than others who are at lower risk of becoming more seriously ill.