Wonderful news on the genetic front. A new gene on the “X” chromosome was identified that may predispose some men to severe coronavirus infection.
Individuals with two “X” chromosomes are genetically female. Genetic males have only a single “X” chromosome, along with a single “Y” chromosome. Since this mutation occurs only on the “X” chromosome, females are not generally affected. However, males have only one copy of the “X” chromosome, so if their only “X” chromosome is affected then males will be affected by this mutation. It is possible for females to be affected, but only if both copies of the “X” chromosomes carry the mutation, thus it is exceedingly unlikely.
This is an important discovery because it primes the scientific and medical communities to identify who is at greatest risk. The discovery also helps us find the best preventative and treatment interventions, such as who is best suited to receive the coronavirus vaccine as early as possible. Also, now that we understand about this specific genetic immune system issue, treatments such as Interferon are likely to be studied much more intensively.
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Dr. Justin Groode | Patient Advocate Alliance, LLC