Introduction: A large number of risk and protective factors have been identified during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic which may influence the outcome of COVID-19. Among these, recent studies have explored the role of HLA-G molecules and their immunomodulatory effects in COVID-19, but there are very few reports exploring the genetic basis of these manifestations. The present study aims to investigate how host genetic factors, including HLA-G gene polymorphisms and sHLA-G, can affect SARS-CoV-2 infection. Materials and Methods: We compared the immune-genetic and phenotypic characteristics between COVID-19 patients (n = 381) with varying degrees of severity of the disease and 420 healthy controls from Sardinia (Italy). Results: HLA-G locus analysis showed that the extended haplotype HLA-G*01:01:01:01/UTR-1 was more prevalent in both COVID-19 patients and controls. In particular, this extended haplotype was more common among patients with mild symptoms than those with severe symptoms [22.7% vs 15.7%, OR = 0.634 (95% CI 0.440 – 0.913); P = 0.016]. Furthermore, the most significant HLA-G 3’UTR polymorphism (rs371194629) shows that the HLA-G 3’UTR Del/Del genotype frequency decreases gradually from 27.6% in paucisymptomatic patients to 15.9% in patients with severe symptoms (X2 = 7.095, P = 0.029), reaching the lowest frequency (7.0%) in ICU patients (X2 = 11.257, P = 0.004). However, no significant differences were observed for the soluble HLA-G levels in patients and controls. Finally, we showed that SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Sardinian population is also influenced by other genetic factors such as β-thalassemia trait (rs11549407C>T in the HBB gene), KIR2DS2/HLA-C C1+ group combination and the HLA-B*58:01, C*07:01, DRB1*03:01 haplotype which exert a protective effect [P = 0.005, P = 0.001 and P = 0.026 respectively]. Conversely, the Neanderthal LZTFL1 gene variant (rs35044562A>G) shows a detrimental consequence on the disease course [P = 0.001]. However, by using a logistic regression model, HLA-G 3’UTR Del/Del genotype was independent from the other significant variables [ORM = 0.4 (95% CI 0.2 – 0.7), PM = 6.5 x 10-4]. Conclusion: Our results reveal novel genetic variants which could potentially serve as biomarkers for disease prognosis and treatment, highlighting the importance of considering genetic factors in the management of COVID-19 patients.

A review of the main genetic factors influencing the course of COVID-19 in Sardinia: the role of human leukocyte antigen-G

Mocci, Stefano
Primo
;
Chessa, Luchino
;
Campagna, Marcello;Melis, Maurizio;Firinu, Davide;Tranquilli, Stefania;Mascia, Alessia;Schirru, Daniele;Lecca, Luigi Isaia
Visualization
;
Rassu, Stefania;Cannas, Federica;Sanna, Celeste;Carta, Mauro Giovanni;Sedda, Francesca;Miglianti, Michela;Perra, Andrea
Penultimo
;
Giglio, Sabrina
Ultimo
2023-01-01

Abstract

Introduction: A large number of risk and protective factors have been identified during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic which may influence the outcome of COVID-19. Among these, recent studies have explored the role of HLA-G molecules and their immunomodulatory effects in COVID-19, but there are very few reports exploring the genetic basis of these manifestations. The present study aims to investigate how host genetic factors, including HLA-G gene polymorphisms and sHLA-G, can affect SARS-CoV-2 infection. Materials and Methods: We compared the immune-genetic and phenotypic characteristics between COVID-19 patients (n = 381) with varying degrees of severity of the disease and 420 healthy controls from Sardinia (Italy). Results: HLA-G locus analysis showed that the extended haplotype HLA-G*01:01:01:01/UTR-1 was more prevalent in both COVID-19 patients and controls. In particular, this extended haplotype was more common among patients with mild symptoms than those with severe symptoms [22.7% vs 15.7%, OR = 0.634 (95% CI 0.440 – 0.913); P = 0.016]. Furthermore, the most significant HLA-G 3’UTR polymorphism (rs371194629) shows that the HLA-G 3’UTR Del/Del genotype frequency decreases gradually from 27.6% in paucisymptomatic patients to 15.9% in patients with severe symptoms (X2 = 7.095, P = 0.029), reaching the lowest frequency (7.0%) in ICU patients (X2 = 11.257, P = 0.004). However, no significant differences were observed for the soluble HLA-G levels in patients and controls. Finally, we showed that SARS-CoV-2 infection in the Sardinian population is also influenced by other genetic factors such as β-thalassemia trait (rs11549407C>T in the HBB gene), KIR2DS2/HLA-C C1+ group combination and the HLA-B*58:01, C*07:01, DRB1*03:01 haplotype which exert a protective effect [P = 0.005, P = 0.001 and P = 0.026 respectively]. Conversely, the Neanderthal LZTFL1 gene variant (rs35044562A>G) shows a detrimental consequence on the disease course [P = 0.001]. However, by using a logistic regression model, HLA-G 3’UTR Del/Del genotype was independent from the other significant variables [ORM = 0.4 (95% CI 0.2 – 0.7), PM = 6.5 x 10-4]. Conclusion: Our results reveal novel genetic variants which could potentially serve as biomarkers for disease prognosis and treatment, highlighting the importance of considering genetic factors in the management of COVID-19 patients.
2023
COVID-19; Sardinian population; Soluble HLA-G; HLA-G 3’UTR haplotypes; KIR2DS2; Gene; Neanderthal LZTFL1 variants
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/363743
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