Common gene in South Asians may double risk of death from COVID 19, according to study led by Oxford NTC

History highlights

  • This gene is present in 60% of South Asians
  • Gene changes the way the lungs respond to viruses

Scientists at the University of Oxford have identified a gene that doubles the risk of lung failure and death from corona. Along with this, scientists claim that this gene present in South Asian people has made the corona more deadly.

According to scientists, the LZTFL1 gene changes the way the lungs respond to the virus. Not only this, it is claimed to be the most important genetic risk factor ever identified.

The scientists found in their study that this gene is present in 60% of South Asian people. While in European countries it is only found in 15% of people. The study was published Thursday in the journal Nature Genetics. This may explain the impact of Corona on the Indian subcontinent.

Research has found that this gene blocks a key protective mechanism that prevents the lungs from responding against viral infections. When these cells mix with SARS-CoV-2, which causes corona infection, they become less specialized cells. This virus can easily attack the body.

People who have a gene called LZTFL1 can benefit greatly from vaccination. Research has said that vaccination is very important in these people. Vaccination can reduce the risk of serious infections. At the same time, other independent experts have also rated this study as important, however, they said it still needs more research.

Professor Francis Flinter of Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust UK said that the difference between the risk of illness and death in different ethnic groups was previously attributed to socioeconomic factors. However, it became clear that this is not a complete explanation. Professor Flinter, who was involved in the study, said that the LZTFL1 gene is responsible for respiratory failure due to corona.

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