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Monday, June 14, 2021

Here’s why some people catch CORONAVIRUS but don’t get sick

It was found out why some people have COVID-19, are asymptomatic

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

Scientists associate the trend towards a “hidden” course of coronavirus infection with genetics. This is a gene responsible for the perception of a virus.

Researchers from Newcastle University in the UK have found out why people with COVID-19 do not get sick and carry the infection without symptoms. 

Scientists believe that the answer to this question is hidden in genetics. In particular, they argue that the HLA-DRB1*04:01 gene is found in people with asymptomatic coronavirus. Namely, it is responsible for not accepting the infection.

The experiment involved 49 patients with a severe course of COVID-19 and 69 – in whom the disease proceeded in a “latent” form.

 “This is an important finding as it may explain why some people catch Covid but don’t get sick,” says Dr. Carlos Echevarria from the Translational and Clinical Research Institute as cited by Science Daily.

“It could lead us to a genetic test which may indicate who we need to prioritize for future vaccinations,” Dr. Echevarria one of the study co-authors of the paper adds.

At a population level, this is important for us to know because when we have lots of people who are resistant, so they catch Covid but don’t show symptoms, then they risk spreading the virus while asymptomatic.

In addition, it became known that the specified gene is subject to latitude and longitude. Thus, it can be in the population of Northern and Western Europe.

Some of the most interesting findings were the relationships between longitude and latitude and HLA gene frequency. It has long been known that the incidence of multiple sclerosis increases with increasing latitude. This has been put down in part to reduced UV exposure and therefore lower vitamin D levels. We weren’t aware, however, that one of the main risk genes for MS, that is DRB1*15:01, directly correlates to latitude.

This highlights the complex interaction between environment, genetics and disease. We know some HLA genes are vitamin D responsive, and that low vitamin D levels are a risk factor for severe COVID and we are doing further work in this area.

However, experts emphasize that asymptomatic COVID-19 can infect other people.

Image Credit: Getty

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