Does Your Genetics Offer Protection or Create Vulnerability to COVID-19?

Are there any genetic factors that could help protect you against severe COVID-19 outcomes if you are under the age of 50 with no known pre-existing conditions? Two researchers at the University of Minnesota,  Meghan Rothenberger, MD and Christen Ebens, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, are leading a team to study this topic. 

Through the collection of samples from COVID-19 patients and their first-degree relatives who have not been infected with the virus, the research team is looking for genetic differences that could explain the differences in severity of symptoms across different individuals and families. The novelty of this study is that, since the research analyzes genetics, the samples can be collected when the patient is sick or months down the road. 

The researchers hope that this study will help the medical and research communities to better understand the bodily pathways that are affected so more successful therapies can be developed to help treat the disease. For more information about their research, follow this link.