Isle of Wight research team supports genetic study of severe Covid-19
The Isle of Wight NHS Trust research team has supported the world’s largest study into the genetics of critical Covid-19.
The study – involving more than 57,000 people worldwide – has revealed new details about some of the biological mechanisms behind the severe form of the disease.
Researchers from the GenOMICC (Genetics of Mortality in Critical Care) consortium – a global collaboration to study genetics in critical illness – made the discoveries by sequencing the genomes of 7,491 patients from 224 intensive care units in the UK.
Dr Gabor Debreceni, consultant in anesthesia and critical care at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said:
“The GenOMICC study compares the genomes of critically ill patients with population controls to find the underlying mechanisms of disease.
“Our intensive care unit began enrolling patients in this study from May 2020 and the last patient was recruited in September 2021. A total of 59 of our patients participated, which is an incredible achievement from the small Research Team.
“In addition, research nurses Joy Wilkins and Alison Brown, with support from research officer Sarah Knight, tirelessly collected blood samples and worked on forms, which is the most laborious part of the job. ‘study.”
The DNA of participating island patients was compared to 48,400 other people who had not had Covid-19, to participants in Genomics England’s 100,000 Genomes project and to that of 1,630 other people who had experienced mild Covid.
Determining the complete genome sequence for all study participants allowed the team to create an accurate map and identify genetic variation related to the severity of Covid-19.
The team found key differences in 16 genes in intensive care patients compared to DNA from other groups.