Study identifies 11 new genetic regions linked with the susceptibility and severity of COVID-19

- Research

Image source: CSIC

An international macro-study in which researchers from the GCAT|Genomes for Life project of the Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) have participated has located 11 new chromosomal regions involved in susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and in severity COVID-19 clinic. The work is published in the journal Nature.

The identification of these genetic determinants involved in the response to SARS-CoV-2 is essential to understand the biological mechanisms that underlie the disease, to find effective treatments and to protect potentially more vulnerable people. Among the genes found in this study, it is worth highlighting certain genes encoding pulmonary surfactants that play a key role in lung function.

The present work is an update with a larger number of patients of a study that this consortium published in July 2021. It now presents a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of 125,584 cases of infection and more than 2.5 million controls collected in 25 countries through 60 different studies. Natalia Blay, from the GCAT team led by Rafael de Cid, has analyzed the data of 5,000 participants, with 447 cases and 4,541 controls.

The results obtained in this study are the result of the COVID Host Genetic Initiative international consortium (GCAT is part of it), which searches for common genetic variants in the population that may increase the risk of infection or of developing severe covid-19. To do this, the consortium conducts studies on thousands of patients.

An International consortium discovers various genetic markers associated with infection by SARS-CoV-2 and the severity of covid-19. The IGTP forms part of the consortium with the GCAT|Genomes for Life Project, a population cohort of 20,000 people from across Catalonia. The GCAT has contributed the analyzed data of 5,000 participants to the study.

Source: The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) / Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute (IIB Sant Pau)

Dr. Rafael de Cid, Scientific Director of the GCAT at the IGTP, has also participated, as one of the senior authors, in another recent publication about COVID: "Detailed Stratified GWAS Analysis for Severe COVID-19 in four European populations".


Pathak G, et al; COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative. A first update on mapping the human genetic architecture of COVID-19. Nature. 2022 Aug;608(7921):E1-E10. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04826-7. PMID: 35922517; PMCID: PMC9352569.