Japan COVID-19 Task Force discovers a promising candidate for a factor contributing to the severity of new coronavirus infections in the Japanese population: As the largest group in Asia, it has made significant contributions to international genome research on novel coronavirus infections
Japan COVID-19 Task Force, in which Professor Seiya Imoto of Human Genome Center and others are participating, has conducted the first large-scale genome-wide association study in Asia to comprehensively compare the genotypes of new coronavirus patients and controls. The genome-wide association analysis was conducted for the first time in Asia. We discovered that a genetic polymorphism in a region of the gene DOCK2, which is known to play an important role in immune function, is associated with the risk of severe disease in non-elderly people under the age of 65. This variant is rarely found in Westerners, suggesting that it may be a strong candidate for a severe disease factor specific to Asian populations, including the Japanese. On the other hand, variants in the DOCK2 gene region alone cannot explain the differences in the severity of disease among populations, and further genomic research, including verification by analysis of a larger number of cases, will be important.
The activities of Japan COVID-19 Task Force have been widely recognized internationally, and research is being conducted together with international collaborative research groups. We participated in the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative, the world's largest consortium for host genome research on novel coronaviruses, as the largest research group in Asia, and contributed to the identification of variants involved in the severity of novel coronavirus infection.
Title: Japan COVID-19 Task Force: a nation-wide consortium to elucidate host genetics of COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.
Authors: Namkoong H and Edahiro R et al.
Title: Mapping the human genetic architecture of COVID-19 by worldwide meta-analysis.
Authors: The COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative.
For more information, please see Japan COVID-19 Task Force press release.