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Genetic links to critical illness caused by COVID-19 identified

Researchers have studied 2,244 critically ill patients with COVID-19, comparing their genetic make up to a control group, to see if any genetic sequences were more common in those who got very sick. They then looked at how these sequences relate to the genes involved in the biological mechanisms that lead to critical illness with COVID-19, highlighting potential targets for drug development or possible repurposing of drugs known to target these pathways. They have reported their results in Nature and spoke at an SMC briefing about their findings and how studying genetics can improve our understanding of the disease.


Speakers included:

Dr Kenneth Baillie, Academic Consultant in Critical Care Medicine, Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh

Dr Erola Pairó Castiñeira, Research Fellow, Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh

Prof Peter Openshaw, Professor of Experimental Medicine, Imperial College London

Prof Kathy Rowan, Director, ICNARC (Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre) 


This Briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments.

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