973-714-8288 info@sterilespace.com

Originally Published by Cedars Sinai

Investigators in the Department of Computational Biomedicine at Cedars-Sinai wanted to find out which factors influenced susceptibility to COVID-19 infection and disease severity the most. Was it genetics? Or was it home environment, meaning the germs circulating throughout your everyday life?

The findings, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications, suggest that more was in play than either factor alone.

“Our results suggest that initially, differences in shared home environment influenced who was infected with COVID-19 more than genetic differences,” said Katie LaRow Brown, MA, first author of the study and a PhD candidate at Columbia University who collaborated with Cedars-Sinai on this study. “Over time, however, the importance of these differences in shared home environment decreased—and the importance of genetics increased—eventually eclipsing shared home environment.”

COVID-19 has infected more than 340 million people in the U.S., underscoring the urgency in conducting therapeutic research and uncovering potential treatments. However, until this study, little was known about how an individual’s environment and genetic background impacted their experience with the virus.

Using electronic health records from New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, investigators identified 12,764 patients who received conclusive results—either positive or negative—from a PCR test for COVID-19. These patients belonged to 5,676 families with an average of 2.5 family members who had a bout of COVID-19. The time frame studied was Feb. 21, 2020, to Oct. 24, 2021.

The investigators’ analysis found that at the start of the pandemic, genetics accounted for 33% of variation in susceptibility. By the second half of the research study, however, genetics accounted for 70% of variation in susceptibility.

When measuring patients’ severity of COVID-19, investigators also found that a patient’s genetics were more of a factor than their home environment. Disease severity was defined by length of hospital stay. Genetics explained 41% of variation while shared environment explained 33%.

>>CLICK HERE to Read the Full Article on Cedars-Sinai.org


infection prevention