A comprehensive search of genetic variation databases has revealed no significant differences across populations and ethnic groups in seven genes associated with viral entry of SARS-CoV-2.
African Americans and Latinos in the United States and ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. They are more likely to develop severe symptoms and also show significantly higher mortality compared with other regional and ethnic groups.
To investigate if this disparity could be caused by genetic variation, a team of three researchers — including Assistant Professor Ji-Won Lee of Hokkaido University’s Graduate School of Dental Medicine — surveyed publicly available databases of genomic variants, including gnomAD, the Korean Reference Genome Database, TogoVar (a Japanese genetic variation database) and the 1000 Genomes Project. They studied variants across multiple regional and ethnic groups in seven genes known to play roles in viral entry into host cells and recognition of viral RNA