The major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19 is associated with protection against HIV

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Mar 1;119(9):e2116435119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2116435119.


There are genetic risk factors that influence the outcome of COVID-19 [COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative, Nature 600, 472-477 (2021)]. The major genetic risk factor for severe COIVD-19 resides on chromosome 3 and is inherited from Neandertals [H. Zeberg, S. Pääbo, Nature 587, 610-612 (2020)]. The risk-associated DNA segment modulates the expression of several chemokine receptors, among them CCR5, a coreceptor for HIV which is down-regulated in carriers of the COVID-19 risk haplotype. Here I show that carriers of the risk variant have an ∼27% lower risk of HIV infection.

Keywords: COVID-19; HIV; genetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / genetics*
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3 / genetics*
  • HIV Infections / genetics*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV-1*
  • Haplotypes*
  • Humans
  • Patient Acuity
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2*