Scientists at the University of Oxford have discovered a gene that doubles the risk of lung infection and death from covid infections.
According to researchers, 60 percent of people of South Asian descent and 15 percent of people of European descent have this hereditary gene. But the corona vaccine greatly reduces the risk of this gene.
A study by The Nature Genetics shows why people in certain communities in the UK and in South Asian countries are at higher risk for covid.
Based on previous studies, researchers have discovered this particular gene with the help of genetic research and artificial intelligence. Named LZTFL-1, this gene plays a role in increasing the risk of covid infection.
Researchers estimate that the gene is present in 2% of the population of African-Caribbean descent and 1.8% of the population of East Asian descent. According to lead researcher James Davis, this gene does not affect all people equally. How much risk a person is exposed to depends on a number of factors, including age.
According to researchers, the presence of this risky gene poses a greater risk to the human lungs from the corona virus. They speculate that the gene may affect the immune system, which is responsible for the formation of cells in the lungs to fight disease. When those cells in the lungs come in contact with the corona virus, then as a measure of resistance, these cells turn into cells that are less susceptible to the virus. This process reduces the amount of a protein called ACE-2 that attaches the corona virus to the cell.
However, in people with the LZTFL-1 gene, the process of depletion of proteins from cells has been shown not to work properly, leaving lung cells at high risk for corona virus. According to researchers, although this gene affects the lungs, it does not affect the body’s immune system.