It has long been known that our ancestors, the homo sapiens, shared more than just territory with him Homo neanderthalensis. There are still traces of this hominid species in our DNA. And curiously, Swedish, German and Japanese scientists have found a practically identical gene among the most severe cases of Covid-19 and Neanderthals.
This is what a study by scientists from the Karolinska Institute from Stockholm, in Sweden; he Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology from Leipzig, Germany and the Institute of Science and Technology from Okinawa, in Japan.
According to this research, collected by the BBC, a significant number of severe Covid-19 patients share a segment of DNA very similar to one carried by Neanderthal man.
“It is practically identical,” he told the BBC. Hugo zeberg, professor of neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute.
This genetic segment persists in 50% of the population of Southeast Asia and in 16% of Europeans. According to the study, carrying this DNA fragment can triple the risk of hospitalization and severity in the case of contracting the coronavirus.
The genetic segment of severe cases is the same as that of Neanderthals, except for a few different positions in 50,000 base pairs.
The study was carried out with 3,199 patients, and concludes that this particularity is the greatest genetic risk factor in severe cases of Covid-19.
The human being has Neanderthal genetic inheritance by sexual intercourse that kept individuals of that hominid species with homo sapiens tens of thousands of years ago. In some countries, such as Bangladesh, the percentage of people with this gene reaches 63%.
Furthermore, diseases such as Crohn o la diabetes they are inherited from Neanderthals.