There would be genes inherited from Neanderthals behind the massacre of Covid deaths that occurred in Val Seriana at the beginning of the pandemic. To prove it is Origin a complex population study carried out byMario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research of Milan, which in the last two years has seen researchers engaged in analyzing the relationship between genetic factors and the severity of the COVID-19 disease in the province of Bergamo, the epicenter of the pandemic.
The study, published in the journal iScience, demonstrated that a certain region of the human genome was significantly associated with the risk of becoming ill with Covid-19 and becoming seriously ill in residents of those areas most affected by the pandemic.
«The sensational thing is that 3 of the 6 genes associated with this risk arrived in the modern population from Neanderthalsespecially from Vindija genome which dates back 50 thousand years ago and was found in Croatia”, explained the professor Giuseppe Remuzzi, Director of the Mario Negri Institute at a press conference held at the headquarters of the Lombardy Region. «Once perhaps it protected Neanderthals from infections, but now it causes an excess of immune response which not only does not protect us but exposes us to a more severe disease. The victims of the Neanderthal chromosome in the world are perhaps 1 million and they could be precisely those who, in the absence of other causes, die from a genetic predisposition.”
The study on the Bergamo community
The study involved the entire community and 9,733 people from Bergamo and its province took part who filled out a questionnaire on their clinical and family history related to Covid-19. 92% of the participants who had had Covid-19 had become infected before May 2020. Among these, 12 people had already had symptoms in November-December 2019. Within this large sample, 1,200 people were selected – all born in Bergamo and its province – divided into three homogeneous groups by characteristics and risk factors: 400 who had a severe form of the disease, 400 who contracted the virus in a mild form and 400 who did not contract it.
People who had severe Covid-19 more often had first-degree relatives who died from the virus than participants with mild Covid-19 or who were not infected. And it is precisely this data that highlights a contribution of genetics to the severity of the disease.
Source: Vanity Fair
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