Severe courses are related to the gene variant


Hospital patients with Covid-19 show a certain gene variant much more often than people with mild courses. According to a new study, those affected are completely or partially missing certain immune cell receptors.

“This part of the immune response could therefore also be an important target for drugs that could help prevent serious Covid-19 diseases,” said Elisabeth Puchhammer-Stöckl from MedUni Vienna on Monday.  The  virologist and her colleagues wrote the study that has just been published in the journal “Genetics in Medicine”.

Much more common in intensive care units


 The  antiviral immune response by natural killer cells (NK cells) is an important step in combating virus replication in the initial phase of the infection, was explained in the MedUni broadcast. ©

 The se killer cells have special, activating receptors on their surface. ©

 The se include the NKG2C receptor, which communicates with an infected cell via one of its specific surface structures, the HLA-E. This interaction leads to the destruction of the virus-infected cells.

In around four percent of the population, the activating receptor NKG2C is missing due to a gene variation, in around 30 percent the receptor is only partially present. A research group from the MedUni Center for Virology, headed by Puchhammer-Stöckl, in cooperation with doctors from the Favoriten Clinic in Vienna, has shown that especially people with a partial or complete absence of the NKG2C receptor develop severe courses.


 The  lack of the receptor was particularly common in patients who had to be treated with Covid-19 in intensive care units, regardless of age or gender. Genetic variations in the HLA-E of the infected cell were also associated with the severity of the disease, albeit to a lesser extent, ”explained Puchhammer-Stöckl. ©

 The  current study therefore shows the great importance of the NK cell response in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

[ source link ]

Severe courses related gene variant


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here