The coronavirus Sars-Cov-2 ensures a harmless course in some people. Other people die from it. Researchers worldwide have made progress in the search for reasons for this. The University of Bonn was also involved.
Covid-19 can be a treacherous disease, and for some people it is fatal. In many infected people, the infection caused by the Sars-Cov-2 virus triggers only a mild course of the disease or goes completely without symptoms. Researchers worldwide are looking for answers to the question of why the disease is harmless for some patients and becomes life-threatening for others.
To this end, thousands of researchers around the world had joined forces in March 2020. The study was led by the United States and Finland. The research results of the consortium have now been published as "Early Access" in the journal Nature, as announced on Tuesday by the University of Bonn, which was also involved and led a study on this conducted in various hospitals.
The results of the pooled research thus reveal 13 sites in the human genome associated with infection or severe covid-19 disease. According to the Bonn-based university, these sites point to several biological connections and, consequently, offer potential approaches for drugs. The genetic data would also reinforce the assumption that smoking and obesity increase the risk of severe disease.
According to the University of Bonn, the consortium compiled clinical and genetic data from nearly 50,000 patients who tested positive for the virus and from two million control subjects from various databases for the analysis.
From Germany, the Bonn Study of Covid Genetics (BoSCO) contributed its data to the investigation of genetic risk factors, it said. Since May 2020, people who were infected with Sars-Cov-2 have been able to participate in the study - regardless of whether they had symptoms. In addition, severely affected patients were recruited for the study through collaborations with other hospitals. A broad spectrum of symptoms among the study participants made it possible to investigate risk factors for various aspects of Covid-19, the head of the BoSCO study from the University of Bonn announced. On the one hand, the results made it possible to better understand the molecular processes during corona infection. "On the other hand, in perspective, they can also help to identify, early on among infected individuals, those with an increased risk of a severe course," said Markus Nöthen, co-author of the study.
Original text: (ga)
Translation: Mareike Graepel