Initial Study on TMPRSS2 p.Val160Met Genetic Variant in COVID-19 patients
BackgroundCoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global health problem that causes millions of deaths worldwide. The clinical manifestation of COVID-19 widely varies from asymptomatic infection to severe pneumonia and systemic inflammatory disease. It is thought that host genetic variability may affect the host's response to the virus infection and thus cause severity of the disease. The SARS-CoV-2 virus requires interaction with its receptor complex in the host cells before infection. The
... e infection. The transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) has been identified as one of the key molecules involved in SARS-CoV-2 virus receptor binding and cell invasion. Therefore, in this study we investigated the correlation between a genetic variant within the human TMPRSS2 gene and COVID-19 severity and viral load.ResultsWe genotyped 95 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized in Dr Soetomo General Hospital and Indrapura Field Hospital (Surabaya, Indonesia) for the TMPRSS2 p.Val160Met polymorphism. Polymorphism was detected using a TaqMan assay. We then analysed the association between the presence of the genetic variant and disease severity and viral load. We did not observe any correlation between the presence of TMPRSS2 genetic variant with the severity of the disease. However, we identified significant association between the p.Val160Met polymorphism and the SARS-CoV-2 viral load, as estimated by the Ct value of the diagnostic nucleic acid amplification test. Furthermore, we observed a trend of association between the presence of the C allele and the mortality rate in patients with severe COVID-19. ConclusionOur data indicate a possible association between TMPRSS2 p.Val160Met polymorphism and SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and the outcome of Covid-19.