Coronavirus: The first genetic factors that increase the chance of losing smell or taste have been discovered

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Certain genetic variants located near two genes (UGT2A1 and UGT2A2) increase an individual’s 11% chance of experiencing a loss of smell or taste after infection.

Scientists in the US have for the first time discovered genetic risk factors that play a role in whether or not a patient with Covid-19 will experience loss of smell and / or taste. This loss is a distinct feature of coronavirus infection, but not all patients show it, without it being clear why this happens. The new study shows that there is a genetic background to the observed differences from person to person, in terms of loss of smell and taste.

The researchers, led by Dr. Adam Oton of 23andMe Inc., a genetically modified company that published the journal Nature Genetics, analyzed the complete genomes of nearly 70,000 people over the age of 18 in the United States and Britain. Certain genetic variants close to two genes (UGT2A1 and UGT2A2) have been found to increase an individual’s 11% chance of losing their sense of smell or taste after a coronavirus infection.

These two genes encode enzymes that are expressed in cells, which are present inside the nose and are involved in detecting odors. The discovery sheds more light on the underlying biological mechanisms of olfactory or taste loss due to Covid-19.

SOURCE: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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Source From: Capital

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