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Key Immune System Genes Identified to Explain High COVID Deaths and Spread in Northern Italy Versus Fewer Cases and Deaths in the South

“The identification of HLA alleles that are permissive or protective towards coronavirus infection could inform priorities in disease management and future vaccination campaigns in an easy, cost-effective manner,” says Prof. Luciano Mutti, MD, from the Sbarro Institute in Philadelphia, co-first author of the study. “Despite the intrinsic limits of the ecological approaches, such types of studies have the advantage of considering a large number of cases that are readily available through public datasets. Indeed, geographical studies are often the first to identify risk factors for a variety of diseases. Case-control studies will be then necessary to confirm these findings in Covid-19 patient cohorts,” says Giovanni Baglio, coauthor of the study, epidemiologist from the Ministry of Health. “We hope that this will be feasible in a reasonable timeframe because the research setting in Italy still presents many hurdles,” concludes Giordano.

Newswise - July 23, 2020

View the full story here: https://www.newswise.com/articles/key-immune-system-genes-identified-to-explain-high-covid-deaths-and-spread-in-northern-italy-versus-fewer-cases-and-deaths-in-the-south