The co-author of this discovery, Karolina Chwiałkowska, is a bio-technologist from the Medical University of Białystok and the IMAGENE.ME company.
This discovery was the first result of COVID-19 analysis which used large-scale research of the entire human genome.
The research proved that genes located on the third human chromosome may have key importance in explaining why some people react differently to being infected with SARS-COV-2 and why they go through COVID-19 in a different way.
Chwiałkowska worked in a team of international specialists, who selected the first genes, which can be associated with a severe course of the COVID-19 disease.
She emphasized that the key to their success was cooperation with the international research consortium called “COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative (HGI)”.
The largest Polish partners of these initiatives were the Białystok Medical University and IMAGENE.ME.
Because the HGI consortium conducted research in 50 countries simultaneously, any research team had constant access to the results from other scientists from all around the world, Chwiałkowska explained.
She underlined that it was through this tight cooperation that the quick discovery of the regions of the human genome associated with COVID-19 could be made. These are the genes found in the so-called short arm of the third chromosome.
This discovery was supported by the analysis of the DNA of 2000 infected patients from Spain and Italy.