Small, isolated populations of India more susceptible to Covid-19: Centre for cellular and molecular biology | India News


HYDERABAD: Small, isolated populations in India are more susceptible to COVID-19, according to a press release from the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.
“India is home to several indigenous and smaller communities, including the Andaman Islanders, living in isolation for tens of thousands of years. Recently, CSIR-CCMB’s Dr. Kumarasamy Thangaraj, who is currently Director of the Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad and Professor Gyaneshwer Chaubey from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, jointly led the genomic analysis of various Indian populations. They found that populations that carry similar (homozygous) long DNA segments in their genome are more likely to be more susceptible to Covid-19. The research was recently published online in the journal Genes and Immunity, “the statement read.
Dr Thangaraj, who traced the origin of the Andaman Islanders, said: “We have investigated high-density genomic data from more than 1600 individuals from 227 ethnic populations. We found a high frequency of contiguous lengths of homozygous genes among Onge, Jarawa ( Andaman Tribes) and a few other populations that are isolated and follow strict inbreeding, making them highly susceptible to Covid-19 infection. ”
Researchers have also evaluated ACE2 gene variants, which make individuals susceptible to Covid-19 and were found with a high frequency in the Jarawa and Onge populations.
“There has been some speculation about the effect of Covid-19 among isolated populations. However, for the first time, we have used genomic data to access the risk of Covid-19 in small, isolated populations,” said Professor Chaubey, professor of Molecular Anthropology at BHU, Varanasi.
“The results obtained from this study suggest that we must have high priority protection and the utmost care of isolated populations so as not to lose some of the living treasures of modern human evolution,” said Dr. Vinay Kumar Nandicoori, Director of CCMB . , Hyderabad.
Other participants in this study include Prajjval Pratap Singh, Professor VN Mishra, Professor Royana Singh, and Dr. Abhishek Pathak from BHU, Varanasi; Dr. Prashanth Suravajhala from Amrita University, Kerala; Pratheusa Machha of CSIR-CCMB, Hyderabad; Dr. Rakesh Tamang from the University of Calcutta, Dr. Ashutosh K Rai from Saudi Arabia, Dr. Pankaj Shrivastava from FSL MP and Prof. Keshav K Singh from the University of Alabama, USA.

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