October 22, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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Acute forms of COVID-19 | Montreal discovery to identify high-risk patients

Acute forms of COVID-19 |  Montreal discovery to identify high-risk patients

(Montreal) The discovery made by Montreal researchers could one day identify patients who develop a severe Kovid-19 form.


Jean-Benoit Legalt
Canadian Press

It is possible to prioritize the granting of a third dose vaccine that is most needed for patients or those who are hospitalized and in need of special vigilance.

A research team led by Professor Etienne Karen at CHU St. Justin and Professor Julie Hussain at the Montreal Heart Institute found that individuals with the HLA-B7 gene marker, which represents 35% of the world’s population, are less effective. Immune response to COVID-19.

While more work is needed to confirm this discovery, “it’s clearly a good first step,” said Professor Karen.

“While we talk a lot about vaccines, second dose, third dose, not everyone is worth taking the third dose, but those with that genetic marker, for example, we encourage,” he added.

The weakened immune response of individuals with HLA-B7 to SARS-CoV-2 is explained by mutations that are naturally acquired during its evolution, the researchers explained.

In other words, the natural evolution of the virus allows people with HLA-B7 to escape being easily detected by the immune system, leading to a more serious form of the disease.

Identifying this genetic trait and its possible use is part of the trend towards precision medicine or personalized medicine that has attracted more and more professionals in recent years.

“It’s a marker, but it’s still a lot,” Karen said. The more of these markers we have, the more accurate medicine medicine will allow people to give, so we can provide them with better treatment at a personalized level. Ultimately this means that we will be more effective in treating the population rather than with a global approach where everyone must receive the same treatment. ”

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