‘Isolated populations of India at higher risk of COVID-19’

New Delhi, Oct 14 (PTI):
Some isolated populations of India like the Onge and Jarawa tribes of the Andaman islands have a higher genetic risk for COVID-19, according to a study led by researchers at CSIR CCMB and BHU.
The study, published in the journal Genes and Immunity, suggests that the government should consider high priority protection and utmost care of these isolated groups, so that “we should not lose some of the living treasures of modern human evolution”.
The research team co-led by Kumarasamy Thangaraj from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR CCMB) Hyderabad and Professor Gyaneshwer Chaubey of Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi noted that the expansion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has impacted various ethnic groups all over the world.
Recently, it has been reported that the indigenous groups of Brazil have been massively affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, who had twice the death rate compared to other communities, they said. It was also shown that many of the indigenous communities have reached the verge of extinction due to this pandemic, according to the researchers. They noted that India also has several indigenous and smaller communities including Andaman Islanders living in isolation.
The researchers, involving 11 scientists from 13 institutions across the world, conducted a genomic analysis of 227 Indian populations, finding that populations carrying long homozygous segments in their genome have higher susceptibility to COVID-19. Homozygous is a genetic condition where an individual inherits the same gene variants or alleles for a particular gene from both parents.
“There might be some speculations on the effect of COVID-19 among isolated populations, however for the first time we have used the genomic data to access the risk of it on them, said Chaubey, a professor of molecular anthropology at BHU. “This approach would be useful to quantify the risk of a population for COVID-19, ” he told PTI.

Show More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button