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If you have Neanderthal genes, you may be at greater risk for severe symptoms of Covid-19


According to a study, Neanderthal genes are at higher risk for severe coronavirus.

A genetic trait inherited from the extinct human species that lived 40,000 to 400,000 years ago could make people more susceptible to Covid-19.

This genetic variation is present in humans today because our ancestors had sex with Neanderthals about 60,000 years ago, researchers say.

And those who have the variant found on chromosome three are up to three times more likely to need ventilation when they become infected with the virus.

In a study of 3,199 hospitalized patients with coronavirus in Italy and Spain, researchers found that the genetic signature was linked to a more severe illness.

People infected with Covid-19 and carrying a certain section of the genetic code left by Neanderthals need mechanical ventilation three times more often. In the picture: Svante Pääbo, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and study author

WHO WAS NEANDERTHALS?

Neanderthals were a close human ancestor who mysteriously became extinct about 40,000 years ago.

The species lived with early humans in Africa for millennia before moving to Europe about 300,000 years ago.

They were later joined by people who came to Eurasia around 48,000 years ago.

These were the original "cavemen" who were historically viewed as stupid and brutal.

In recent years, however, the evidence points to a more sophisticated and eclectic breed of "cavemen".

It is now likely that Neanderthals buried, painted, and even mixed up their dead with humans.

Lead author Professor Hugo Zeberg of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden said, “The risk increase is 60 to 70 percent if you have a copy of the Neanderthal variant with you, and 3 times the risk if you have two copies – one from your father and one from your mother.

"Later studies estimate the increase in risk to be even higher, with twice the risk if you have one copy and up to five times the risk if you have two copies."

The gene variant was first found about 50,000 years ago in the remains of a Neanderthal man in Croatia and is still found in millions of modern humans.

Neanderthals were a species that lived next to humans tens of thousands of years ago and were very similar in appearance and size, but were generally stockier and more muscular.

This primitive human relative existed – most of the time alongside and bred with humans – for about 100,000 years before extinct about 40.00 years ago.

It is not yet known why the Neanderthal gene is linked to an increased risk of serious illness, while scientists say it needs to be studied "as soon as possible".

Not everyone has this variant – it's most common in people of South Asian descent, around 50 percent of whom have it.

It's less common in Europe, where around 16 percent of people wear it.

Bangladesh has the highest number of airlines at 63 percent.

Professor Zeberg and his fellow student Dr. Svante Pääbo said that the Neanderthal genes are most common in people of South Asian descent, particularly in Bangladesh, and significantly less common in Europeans (Photo: A map showing where the genes are most common).

Professor Zeberg and his fellow student Dr. Svante Pääbo said that the Neanderthal genes are most common in people of South Asian descent, particularly in Bangladesh, and significantly less common in Europeans (Photo: A map of where the genes are most common).

This difference may contribute to the differences in Covid-19 severity observed between different populations.

For example, people of Bangladeshi descent in the UK are about twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as the general population.

The researchers wanted to know whether the peculiarity had been passed down by Neanderthals or whether it had been inherited by both Neanderthals and modern humans through a common ancestor.

They concluded that this must be due to inbreeding between Neanderthals and modern humans, as the last common ancestor between the groups would have lived 550,000 years ago – during that time the genetic variant would likely have been altered.

Neanderthals were a species that lived next to humans tens of thousands of years ago and were very similar in appearance and size, but were generally stockier and more muscular (Image: A replica of a male Neanderthal head in London's Natural History Museum).

Neanderthals were a species that lived next to humans tens of thousands of years ago and were very similar in appearance and size, but were generally stockier and more muscular (Image: A replica of a male Neanderthal head in London's Natural History Museum).

Author Professor Svante Paabo of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology said, "It is noteworthy that the Neanderthals' genetic heritage is having such tragic consequences during the current pandemic."

The scientists would like to point out that there are other factors that can affect a person's susceptibility to a severe reaction to the virus, including their age and the existence of other medical conditions.

Professor Zeberg said, “Obviously, factors like your age and other illnesses you may have also affect how badly you are affected by the virus.

"But of the genetic factors, this is the strongest."

The study was published as a form in July and has now been peer-reviewed and published in Nature.

GENES THAT DICTATE THE BLOOD TYPE COULD AFFECT THE RISK OF SERIOUS CORONAVIRUS

Another genetic difference that increases your risk of developing a severe coronavirus could be one that determines a person's blood type, according to a study in June.

Researchers at genetic testing company 23andMe found that people with Type O blood were up to 18 percent less likely to test positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

In addition, patients with blood type and exposure were up to 26 percent less likely to contract coronavirus.

The team says this suggests a link between the genes that determined the blood type and the severity of the virus. People who get seriously ill are the ones most likely to test positive, while milder patients may not realize they are sick.

For the study, the team recruited more than 750,000 participants, including 10,000 who reported having COVID-19.

People with blood type O were between nine and 18 percent less likely than people with other blood types to test positive.

About 1.3 percent of 23andMe research participants with Type O blood tested positive for COVID-19.

For comparison, 1.4 percent of those with type A blood and 1.5 percent of those with type B or AB blood were confirmed to have the virus.

People with type O blood who have been exposed to the virus, such as: B. Frontline health workers were between 13 and 26 percent less positive.

Among those exposed, 3.2 percent tested positive with type O blood, compared with 3.9 percent of those with type A blood, four percent with type B blood and 4.1 percent with type AB blood. Blood.

The results, which have not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal, have proven to be true when considering factors such as age, gender, body mass index and underlying health conditions.

The researchers identified a variant of the ABO gene that is responsible for different blood groups and was associated with a lower risk.

"The study and recruitment is ongoing in the hope that we can use our research platform to better understand differences in people's response to the virus," said a statement on the 23andMe blog.

"Ultimately, we hope to be able to publish our research results to give the scientific community more insight into COVID-19."

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