Discovering a gene that doubles the risk of lung failure and death from Covid-19

Scientists from the University of Oxford, UK have discovered a gene called LZTF1, which doubles the risk of lung failure and death from Covid-19.

Picture 1 of Discovering a gene that doubles the risk of lung failure and death from Covid-19
Gene LZTF1 - is thought to increase the risk of contracting and dying for Covid-19. (Photo courtesy: BBC)

They say 60 percent of people of South Asian descent and 15 percent of Europeans carry this high-risk gene , but say vaccines remain key, helping to significantly reduce these risks. Research published in the journal Nature genetics sheds light on why some communities in the UK and South Asia are at higher risk of Covid-19. Building on previous genetic research, the researchers used artificial intelligence combined with new molecular technology to pinpoint a gene called LZTF1 that is believed to increase the risk of developing the disease. and death for Covid-19.

Explaining this, research leader Professor James Davies said, when lung cells face the virus that causes Covid-19, one of their defense strategies is to mutate themselves to prevent the virus from invading. import. This process reduces ACE-2 - an important protein on the cell surface - which is considered key for the virus to bind itself to the cell. But for people carrying the LZTFL1 gene, this process doesn't work as well, and lung cells are more susceptible to the virus.

Lead researcher Professor James Davies said that besides carrying the LZTF1 gene, several other factors such as age also increase the risk.

Importantly, the LZTF1 gene mainly affects the lungs, but not the immune system, according to the scientists. This means that people at high risk can still be protected by getting the Covid-19 vaccine.

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