Instead, we should seek to discover genomic risk factors, whether it be HLA, T-cell receptors, cytokine response genetics, or other factors (March 1 blog here).
On April 20, 2020, Genomeweb reports an international study, based in Hannover, Germany, looking at genomic factors affecting COVID response - by Justin Petrone, here.
Partners include Bionano Genomics, Genoos, Rescale, and Amazon. They will study 1000 patients. Bionano will provide its Saphyr platform, while Genoox, in Palo Alto, will provide AI.
Genomeweb writes in part,
Participants will undergo analysis of their transcriptomes to look at gene expression, metabolomes, and a variety of immune markers such as cytokines and T-cell response.Bravo to this study. Kudos also to Adaptive Biotechnology, which announced on March 20 a national call for volunteers to study immune receptor dynamics in COVID - here. In other news, researchers are searching for ACE2 receptor variations that might impact COVID binding and virulence (here), and proteomics researchers set up for immuno-oncology proteomics are turning to COVID rsposnes as well (here).
The goal of the study is to identify genomic variants that affect the disease, and immune or metabolic variables in the healthier participants that can protect against more severe disease, and to use this knowledge for the development of novel therapies and vaccines.
COVID Host Genetics Initiative - Important to Be Aware of This One
The Hannover consortium is part of the COVID Host Genetics Initiative, with many centers spanning Europe, Asia, and North America. See its homepage here. It currently has 133 parterships in an easily searched database. Click to enlarge the screen shot:
In other molecular COVID news today, Exact Sciences received FDA EUA for a COVID diagnostic - here.