Investigating underlying human immunity genes, implicated diseases and their relationship to COVID-19

Zeeshan Ahmed, Eduard Gibert Renart & Saman Zeeshan

Publication Date: 03/09/2022


Aim: A human immunogenetics variation study was conducted in samples collected from diverse COVID-19 populations. Materials & methods: Whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing (WGS/WES), data processing, analysis and visualization pipeline were applied to identify variants associated with genes of interest. Results: A total of 2886 mutations were found across the entire set of 13 genomes. Functional annotation of the gene variants revealed mutation type and protein change. Many variants were found to be biologically implicated in COVID-19. The involvement of these genes was also found in multiple other diseases. Conclusion: The analysis determined that ACE2TMPRSS4TMPRSS2SLC6A20 and FYCOI had functional implications and TMPRSS4 was the gene most altered in virally infected patients.

Plain language summary

The quest to establish an understanding of the genetics underlying COVID-19 is a central focus of life sciences today. COVID-19 is triggered by SARS-CoV-2, a single-stranded RNA respiratory virus. Several clinical-genomics studies have emerged positing different human gene mutations occurring due to COVID-19. A global analysis of these genes was conducted targeting major components of the immune system to identify possible variations likely to be involved in COVID-19 predisposition. Gene-variant analysis was performed on whole-genome sequencing samples collected from diverse populations. ACE2TMPRSS4TMPRSS2SLC6A20 and FYCOI were found to have functional implications and TMPRSS4 may have a role in the severity of clinical manifestations of COVID-19.