The gene is the reportedly the fourth most important factor determining how serious a person’s infection is. Age, weight and gender are the most important factors. The gene was discovered by researchers at the Medical University of Bialystok in Poland. It is located on chromosome 3, one of the 23 pairs of chromosomes in humans. The researchers said the gene is present in around 14 percent of the Polish population.
But is only present in around 8-9 percent in the whole of Europe, while it is 27 percent in India, according the researchers.
Now, doctors might be able to identify who is most at risk and may push them to the front of the vaccination queue.
Poland and other central and eastern European countries are experiencing another surge of Covid cases and deaths.
And they still have much lower vaccinations rates compared to western Europe.
The new study was based on around 1,500 Covid patients.
It was led by Prof Marcin Moniuszko from Medical University of Bialystok.
Results were revealed on Thursday at a press conference at the university.
Poland’s Minister of Health Dr Adam Niedzielski and President of Medical Research Agency Radoslaw Sierpiński both attended.
Prof Moniuszko said: “Although the results of our research are still a scientific discovery, we very much hope that on their basis, a widely available test for patients, doctors and diagnosticians will be created to identify people at greater risk of severe disease.
“Such a test may help to better identify people who, if infected, may be at risk of a rapid course of the disease before infection occurs.
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Health Minister Dr Niedzielski said: “After more than a year and a half of work it was possible to identify a gene responsible for a predisposition to becoming seriously ill [with coronavirus].
“This means that in the future we will be able to… identify people with a predisposition to suffer seriously from Covid.”
Dr Niedzielski mentioned that only 3 percent of fully vaccinated people accounted for the 1,085 Covid deaths of under 44s in Poland in 2021.
He said: “This black statistic could be different thanks to vaccinations.”