Genetic study on COVID-19 begins in Camagüey

Camagüey, Cuba, Jun 29.- The study of genetic risk factors associated with the clinical severity of COVID-19 in recovered patients, begins today in this province with the taking of blood samples to carry out immunological investigations, assess the system immune and know about the presence of antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. the 49 positive cases of the pathogen in the territory, 45 will be involved in the investigation, developed by the National Center for Medical Genetics and the Ministry of Public Health, to increase knowledge related to the clinical, genetic, immunological and epidemiological aspects of the disease .

The purpose of the exploration is also to favor the design and implementation of prevention strategies that minimize the impact that COVID-19 could have in the coming months and years, explained Elizabeth Angulo Cebada, head of the provincial department of Genetics.

“In addition to the confirmed patient, a family member of the first degree of consanguinity will be included – whether they are parents, children or siblings-, who coexists with this, but who has been negative for the infectious disease, which will serve as a control case,” he explained .

As part of the research, the homes of the convalescents were visited the previous week, and they were asked for their consent to participate, and then a clinical instrument was created, where the necessary information is collected to evaluate the epidemiological and clinical characteristics.

“This is done in order to correlate these variables with genetic polymorphisms, which could be related to the clinical behavior of the disease and its evolution towards severe forms, as well as to develop possible prognostic models at the individual level,” she added.

At the same time, a family tree of at least three generations will be carried out, while, at first, the medical records of those infected were reviewed, who were admitted to the Amalia Simoni Surgical Clinic hospitals or the Octavio de la Concepción Military Hospital and of La Pedraja, of this city.

The Camaguey specialist highlighted that the provincial network has trained professionals to carry out the proposed tasks, including 11 genetic counselors, five specialists in Clinical Genetics, three graduates in Health Technology, and the same number in Nursing.

The fundamental objective of the study, based on the combined analysis of the results of the clinical, immunological, and molecular genetic elements, is the identification of individual genotypes that increase the susceptibility to severe forms of COVID-19 to establish preventive strategies.

A similar procedure has been applied in demarcations of the provinces of Pinar del Río, Santiago de Cuba and Havana, among others, as reported by digital media publications. (Radio Cadena Agramonte).(Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)


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