Photo: RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images
A group of Polish researchers from the Bialystok Medical University (east) identified a genetic variant that makes carriers more vulnerable to COVID-19 and suffer higher mortality.
The discovery, made public this Wednesday, is the result of the work of the scientific team led by professors Marcin Moniuszko and Miroslaw Kwasniewski, and was described as “innovative” by the direction of the University of Bialystok.
According to the study’s conclusions, the genetic profile of each person has a significant influence on how COVID-19 affects them, regardless of other risk factors already identified such as obesity, advanced age or comorbidities.
Professor Moniuszko explained in an appearance before the press that finding the genetic variant in question in patients can help determine who is at higher risk for a serious course of the disease.
These patients could, in this case, receive preferential care and even additional doses of vaccines against COVID-19.
The research was carried out in collaboration with the Warsaw Institute of Pulmonary Diseases and Tuberculosis and with the private company ImageneMe; the sample analyzed was 1,500 people.
The presence of the genetic variant in question, which is part of chromosome number 3, can affect the chances that the carrier will die from COVID-19, a risk that is multiplied by two compared to non-carriers.
According to Polish scientists, 14% of the inhabitants of Poland have this gene, while in the rest of Europe the percentage is reduced to 9% of the population.
Next Thursday, the Polish Minister of Health, Adam Niedzielski, is scheduled to participate in a press conference at Bialystok University together with the responsible scientific team.
Poland is one of the European countries most affected by the pandemic and last Tuesday it exceeded the figure of 100,000 fatalities from this disease.
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