The LZTFL1 gene can double the risk of dying from coronavirus

The LZTFL1 gene can double the risk of dying from coronavirus

Scientists in Britain have discovered a gene that appears to double the risk of severe Covid-19 and death from lung failure.

It is estimated that 15% of people of European descent and 60% of those from South Asia carry this high-risk gene called LZTFL1. It is the most important genetic risk factor for severe Covid-19 that has been found to date and the discovery could lead to the development of new drugs.

The researchers, led by genetics professor James Davis of Oxford University School of Medicine, published in the journal Nature Genetics, according to the BBC and The Guardian, using a combination of technology to detect this gene.

The gene, scientists say, does not affect all populations equally (patients from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, for example, are more likely to die), while the individual risk for those who have it in their DNA also varies from person to person. factors such as age and socioeconomic factors.

“Although we cannot change our genome, our findings show that people with this higher-risk gene are more likely to benefit from their vaccination,” said Dr. Davis.

This gene makes the lungs of patients with Covid-19 infection more vulnerable to coronavirus, rather disabling a vital defense mechanism commonly present in the lung epithelial cells, making it easier for the virus to infect and destroy these cells.

The researchers believe that the LZTFL1 gene has an effect on the lungs, but not on the immune system, so it does not weaken the body’s immune response after the Covid-19 vaccine. Other scientists, however, have been more cautious, stressing the need for new genetic findings to be confirmed.


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