Research findings have revealed a correlation between severe symptoms of COVID-19 and Neanderthal genes. The Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacology in Milan, Italy, recently published a research paper in the academic journal ‘iScience’, stating that specific Neanderthal genes could potentially be responsible for the development of severe symptoms in COVID-19 patients. Their conclusions were drawn from a survey conducted on individuals infected with COVID-19 in Bergamo, northern Italy, which was significantly impacted by the virus at the beginning of the pandemic. Bergamo was even dubbed the ‘City of Death’ due to the high number of fatalities caused by COVID-19.
The institute examined around 10,000 infected individuals in Bergamo and identified several genes correlated with severe respiratory illness. Out of these genes, three were found to be part of the Neanderthal haplotype, which refers to genes inherited from a common ancestor. Individuals with the Neanderthal haplotype are allegedly two times more likely to develop severe pneumonia symptoms when infected with COVID-19 compared to those without the haplotype. Moreover, their chances of being admitted to the intensive care unit and requiring a ventilator were three times higher.
Giuseppe Lemucci, the director of the Mario Negri Pharmacological Institute, highlighted that 33% of COVID-19 patients in Bergamo with life-threatening symptoms possessed the Neanderthal gene haplotype. It is important to note that this gene was not found in patients with mild symptoms or asymptomatic individuals.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that Neanderthal genes have been associated with severe COVID-19 symptoms. Dr. Svante Febo, a Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine, first proposed this connection in a research paper published in the prestigious journal Nature in 2020. The paper suggested that Europeans and Asians, who experienced higher mortality rates due to COVID-19, possessed Neanderthal haplotype genes at rates of 16% and 50%, respectively.
These findings shed light on the genetic factors that can potentially contribute to the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Further research is needed to fully comprehend the implications of Neanderthal genes on the vulnerability to the virus and to develop appropriate preventive measures.
(Photo = AFP)[이데일리 김보영 기자] Research results have shown that severe symptoms of COVID-19 are linked to Neanderthal genes.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on the 17th (local time), the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacology in Milan, Italy, claimed this in a research paper published in the academic journal ‘iScience’. Based on the results of a survey conducted on people infected with COVID-19 in Bergamo, northern Italy, the organization argued that severe symptoms of COVID-19 could be caused by a specific gene from Neanderthals.
The institute said that after surveying 10,000 infected people in Bergamo, it identified several genes that were linked to severe respiratory disease. It was also added that about three of these were included in the Neanderthal haplotype (similar haplotype genes that share an ancestor).
People with the Neanderthal haplotype are allegedly twice as likely to develop severe pneumonia symptoms when infected with COVID-19 than those without the disease.
It was also said that the likelihood of being admitted to the intensive care unit and worsening to the point of being dependent on a ventilator was three times higher.
Regarding this, Giuseppe Lemucci, director of the Mario Negri Pharmacological Institute, said, “Among the people infected with COVID-19 in Bergamo, 33% of patients who showed life-threatening symptoms had the Neanderthal gene haplotype.” .
On the other hand, it was also emphasized that the gene was not found in patients with mild symptoms or asymptomatic patients.
Meanwhile, this is not the first claim that Neanderthal genes are linked to severe symptoms of COVID-19. Dr. Svante Febo, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, first made this claim in a research paper published in the academic journal Nature in 2020. In this paper, it was presented that Europeans and Asians, who have a high rate of death from COVID-19 , Neanderthal haplotype genes of 16% and 50%, respectively.
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