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Five key genes linked to severe COVID-19 found

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Five key genes are linked with the most severe form of COVID-19, scientists said on Friday, in research that also pointed to several existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat people who risk getting critically ill with the pandemic disease.

Researchers who studied the DNA of 2,700 COVID-19 patients in 208 intensive care units across Britain found that five genes involving in two molecular processes – antiviral immunity and lung inflammation – were central to many severe cases.

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The findings, published in the journal Nature, should help scientists speed up the search for potential drugs for COVID-19 by conducting clinical trials of medicines that target specific antiviral and anti-inflammatory pathways.

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