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Last Posted: Nov 21, 2022
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Drug genetic associations with COVID-19 manifestations: a data mining and network biology approach
D Charitou et al, J PGX Journal, September 29, 2022

We statistically construct a pharmacogenetic/biomarker network with significant drug-gene interactions originating from gene-disease associations. Investigation of the predicted pharmacogenes encompassing the gene-disease-gene pharmacogenomics (PGx) network suggests that these genes could play a significant role in COVID-19 clinical manifestation due to their association with autoimmune, metabolic, neurological, cardiovascular, and degenerative disorders.

Mystery hepatitis cases in kids linked to unexpected viral suspect
J Kaiser, Science, May 25, 2022

Two preliminary studies finding adeno-associated viruses in pediatric hepatitis cases suggest a child’s genetic background and other viruses all act in concert. They used DNA and RNA sequencing of tissue samples from U.K. cases to look for about 200 different virus families. AAV2 jumped out. It was in liver or blood samples in all nine Scottish cases examined and 15 of 16 separate cases from all over the United Kingdom, according to the studies. In contrast, almost none of 158 controls, which included healthy children and children with hepatitis for known reasons, had AAV2. Both studies also found that all but two of 14 sick children tested carried a specific version of a type of gene called HLA that helps shape the body’s response to pathogens. The variant is particularly common in northern Europeans—16% of Scottish people carry it, and it is known to be linked to some autoimmune disorders.

Inching closer to precision treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
LT Donlin, Nature Medicine, June 9, 2022

Designing precision medicine treatment strategies for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an imperative, yet a humbling challenge. Successful examples of precision treatment have, thus far, largely involved conditions where a single causal genomic variant was identified and a counteracting drug was developed. For RA and most autoimmune conditions, however, precise causal mechanisms remain unclear. Fortunately, more than 20 medications are approved for RA and show efficacy in at least a fraction of patients.

A Phenome Wide Association Study of Severe COVID-19 Genetic Risk Variants
JA Regan et al, MEDRXIV, December 11, 2021

Using a broad PheWAS approach in a large discovery and validation cohort, we have identified novel phenotypic associations with risk alleles for severe COVID-19 infection. Interestingly, the ABO locus was associated with comorbidities that are also risk factors for severe COVID-19 infection, suggesting that this locus has pleiotropic effects and provides a potential mechanism for this association. The 19p13 locus was associated with lower risk of autoimmune disease, these findings may have broad implications for the importance of multiple comorbidities across both infectious and non-infectious diseases and may provide insight in the molecular function of the genes near these genetic risk loci.

Disclaimer: Articles listed in the Public Health Genomics and Precision Health Knowledge Base are selected by the CDC Office of Public Health Genomics to provide current awareness of the literature and news. Inclusion in the update does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor does it imply endorsement of the article's methods or findings. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinion, findings and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in the update, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS.