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Covid-19, Over 33 Thousand Cases in Africa. Study Reveals: Africans Genetically Predisposed

Almost 10,000 more confirmed cases of Covid-19 were reported over the weekend in Africa. In the last 24 hours, the number rose to over 3,000 for an overall number of 33,248 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in 52 countries. The new data was released on Africa CDC’s COVID-19 page.

The country hit the hardest is South Africa with 4,793 cases, followed closely by Egypt (4,782) then Morocco (4,120) and Algeria (3,517). The countries with more than 3,00 confirmed cases are followed by those with over 1,000: Cameroon (1,705), Ghana (1,550), Nigeria (1,337), Ivory Coast (1,164), The Republic of Guinea (1,163) and Djibouti (1,035). Countries reporting under 1,000 cases are Tunisia (967), Senegal (with 65 new cases in the last 24 hours it goes up in position, 736), Niger (702), Senegal, Burkina Faso (635), Somalia (480), The democratic republic of Congo (471), Mali (408) and Kenya (363) among the others. Many countries are still under 100 cases including Togo, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Angola, and Libya.

The total number of deaths are 1,470 and there have been 10,059 recoveries. A study by a team of researchers at the CEINGE institute on the TMPRSS2 gene, the novel SARS-CoV-2 host receptor, showed that there is a possible genetic predisposition to carry and develop the virus in African, European and Latin American populations.

Researchers examined the genetic variant in 141,456 healthy subjects from 17 different populations.

The initial results of the study show that genetic variants in TMPRSS2 are more frequent in these populations. Researchers also observed that the genetic variant affects lung functionality because it can alter both the expression of the TMPRSS2 gene and the generation of an isoform on another gene, MX1, a widely recognized inhibitor in interferon-based antiviral therapy that ranges from the “simple” influenza to chronic hepatitis C.

Based on this data, the  principal investigators of  the study at CEINGE have concluded that the findings suggest that susceptibility to the virus and the level of seriousness can be influenced by the level of TMPRSS2 and MX1 expressions determined by the genetic makeup of the individual.

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