A world consortium to study the genetic factors associated with COVID-19

- Projects, Research

COVID-19 has caused a global pandemic and this in turn has accelerated the formation of international collaborations more than ever, although they are already common in biomedical research. The COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative was formed to share knowledge and data to study the role of genetic factors in susceptibility to infection by SARS-CoV-2 and severity of the disease. The GCAT-Genomes for Life Project at the IGTP is taking part. The methodology has been described in a paper in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

It is an open and collaborative consortium, with more than 150 partners around the globe. It is focused on exploring the role of genetic factors in relation to COVID-19 and to do this research groups in the field from all over the world are working together and sharing data. The GCAT Project joined at the start of April, bringing a populational cohort with data from 20,000 people, including associated genetic, environmental and lifestyle information, to the Host Genetics Initiative. "The participation of GCAT in this international project is a demonstration of the need to cooperate between groups and countries to find rapid solutions to global problems," says Rafa de Cid, Scientific Director of the GCAT at the IGTP.

The first studies from the project to yield results are due for publication soon.