IGM contributes to COVID-19 Host Susceptibility Studies

March 30, 2020

NEW YORK – The current COVID-19 pandemic has presented researchers and clinicians with confounding contradictions: While the disease poses a well-documented risk to elderly individuals and those with some preexisting health conditions, for example, it has also been linked to severe disease or death in some younger adults.

On the other hand, as ever more individuals are tested, investigators are finding ever more SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals with mild symptoms, atypical symptoms, or no symptoms at all — seemingly healthy people who might inadvertently spread and amplify the disease.

Though yet-to-be-identified environmental or lifestyle factors may contribute to these dramatically different infection outcomes, it seems increasingly likely that we will need to dig into the core of our own biology to fully explain this variability.

"Given that there is such remarkable variability amongst people, there really is the possibility that there will be strong genetic effects in the [human] genome, and we need to determine that absolutely as rapidly as we can," noted David Goldstein, director of Columbia University's Institute for Genomic Medicine. "It might be that these differences are more environmentally mediated, we don't know, but it's entirely possible that they are genetically mediated, in part."

"We, unfortunately, have plenty of samples to work with to build up a large genetic study," Goldstein said.

Read the full story on Genome Web here

 

Topics

Infectious Diseases, Personalized Medicine, Precision Medicine, Research, Genetics