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J Clin Invest ; 131(23)2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546628


BackgroundThere is considerable variability in COVID-19 outcomes among younger adults, and some of this variation may be due to genetic predisposition.MethodsWe combined individual level data from 13,888 COVID-19 patients (n = 7185 hospitalized) from 17 cohorts in 9 countries to assess the association of the major common COVID-19 genetic risk factor (chromosome 3 locus tagged by rs10490770) with mortality, COVID-19-related complications, and laboratory values. We next performed metaanalyses using FinnGen and the Columbia University COVID-19 Biobank.ResultsWe found that rs10490770 risk allele carriers experienced an increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2-1.7). Risk allele carriers had increased odds of several COVID-19 complications: severe respiratory failure (OR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.6-2.6), venous thromboembolism (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2-2.4), and hepatic injury (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2-2.0). Risk allele carriers age 60 years and younger had higher odds of death or severe respiratory failure (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.8-3.9) compared with those of more than 60 years (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2-1.8; interaction, P = 0.038). Among individuals 60 years and younger who died or experienced severe respiratory failure, 32.3% were risk-variant carriers compared with 13.9% of those not experiencing these outcomes. This risk variant improved the prediction of death or severe respiratory failure similarly to, or better than, most established clinical risk factors.ConclusionsThe major common COVID-19 genetic risk factor is associated with increased risks of morbidity and mortality, which are more pronounced among individuals 60 years or younger. The effect was similar in magnitude and more common than most established clinical risk factors, suggesting potential implications for future clinical risk management.

Alleles , COVID-19 , Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3/genetics , Gene Frequency , Genetic Loci , Polymorphism, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2 , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Risk Factors
EBioMedicine ; 66: 103339, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1184942


BACKGROUND: Patients infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), exhibit a wide spectrum of disease behaviour. Since DNA methylation has been implicated in the regulation of viral infections and the immune system, we performed an epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) to identify candidate loci regulated by this epigenetic mark that could be involved in the onset of COVID-19 in patients without comorbidities. METHODS: Peripheral blood samples were obtained from 407 confirmed COVID-19 patients ≤ 61 years of age and without comorbidities, 194 (47.7%) of whom had mild symptomatology that did not involve hospitalization and 213 (52.3%) had a severe clinical course that required respiratory support. The set of cases was divided into discovery (n = 207) and validation (n = 200) cohorts, balanced for age and sex of individuals. We analysed the DNA methylation status of 850,000 CpG sites in these patients. FINDINGS: The DNA methylation status of 44 CpG sites was associated with the clinical severity of COVID-19. Of these loci, 23 (52.3%) were located in 20 annotated coding genes. These genes, such as the inflammasome component Absent in Melanoma 2 (AIM2) and the Major Histocompatibility Complex, class I C (HLA-C) candidates, were mainly involved in the response of interferon to viral infection. We used the EWAS-identified sites to establish a DNA methylation signature (EPICOVID) that is associated with the severity of the disease. INTERPRETATION: We identified DNA methylation sites as epigenetic susceptibility loci for respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients. These candidate biomarkers, combined with other clinical, cellular and genetic factors, could be useful in the clinical stratification and management of patients infected with the SARS-CoV-2. FUNDING: The Unstoppable campaign of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Foundation, the Cellex Foundation and the CERCA Programme/Generalitat de Catalunya.

COVID-19/genetics , DNA Methylation , Epigenome , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , Adult , COVID-19/etiology , Cohort Studies , CpG Islands , Female , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Reproducibility of Results , Respiratory Insufficiency/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Spain , Young Adult