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Genetic Basis for Severe COVID-19 Clinical Outcome


Research coordinated by the National Institutes of Health involving a number of U.S. laboratories within the National Institute of Health System and collaborators in Italy have identified genetic defects in patients who are seriously affected by COVID-19.


Among 660 patients with severe symptoms requiring IC support a significant number lacked genes associated with an immune response especially with respect to elaboration of Type-I interferon.  In addition, a number of patients with severe pneumonia showed autoantibodies against interferons that would result in an impaired immune response.


The studies on susceptibility to the more severe forms of COVID-19 obviously had a genetic basis and explain the disparity in clinical responses to a widely disseminated virus.