Scientists at the Medical University of Bialystok have identified a gene which may be responsible for more severe cases of Covid-19, it has emerged.
The findings of a team led by professor Marcin Moniuszko and doctor Mirosław Kwaśniewski will reportedly lead to the creation of a genetic test which will quickly identify whether a patient faces a higher risk of coronavirus infection with their research indicating the gene can double the rise of severe complications from Covid-19, as well as death.
“It is estimated that even up to 14 percent of Poles possess this gene but it usually appears in 9 percent of the European population,” a statement from the medical research team read. The scientists believe, however, that the discovery may help identify the most at-risk patients earlier.
Professor Marcin Moniuszko told Polsat News television that due to the discovery, special tests may be designed within the next few months, with regulation processes posing more of a challenge to that outcome than technological ones.
“We hope that these tests will be accessible as widely as possible and in the simplest way. Perhaps an app or a risk calculator will be designed which will take into account all factors, including the result of the genetic test,” he said.
The professor also noted that advanced age, weight, obesity and gender all influenced the severity of a coronavirus infection and overtake even the new gene factor.