RANGING FROM a silent infection to a lethal disease, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has shown immense clinical variability. Scientists and immunologists across the world are exploring the question if it is possible that some are genetically resistant to the virus and, hence, do not get critically ill. In India, experts from Mumbai hospitals have submitted a study proposal to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Dr Zarir Udwadia, noted pulmonologist at Hinduja hospital, Mumbai, told The Indian Express that they were keen on understanding why some young, but otherwise healthy, patients get critically ill or die of Covid-19. “We have planned a study by doing a genetic analysis of this specific group of people aged below 50 and who do not have any co-morbid health conditions and their families,” Dr Udwadia said.

Dr Mukesh Desai, principal investigator of the proposed study and chief immunologist at Wadia hospital in Mumbai, said a global effort had been underway since one-and-a-half months to understand and identify if there was a genetic defect in these patients without any co-morbid conditions, who at a young age got a severe form of Covid-19.