Our team’s reading recommendation for this month goes to “Interindividual immunogenic variants: Susceptibility to coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza virus” by Farseh Darbeheshti et al. from Tehran University of Medical Sciences[1], an interesting paper published in Reviews of Medical Virology that provides promising clues related to the potential benefits of using immunotherapy and immune modulation for respiratory infectious disease treatment in a personalized manner. 

From asymptomatic to severe respiratory failure:

The range of disease severity among COVID 19 affected individuals is wide… but why?

After more than one year, we have most of the answers on the clinical side: we know quite well indeed which are the conditions that expose patients to a higher risk of developing a severe form.  

Our knowledge on how the host genetic background also plays a role in the susceptibility and vulnerability to SARS-CoV-2 infections is however more fragmented as it can also be related to other – better known – respiratory viruses like SARS-CoV-1, syncytial and influenza viruses.   

The interest of the present paper relies in the fact that it provides an extensive overview based on a comprehensive literature review studying the role of genetics at three levels: 

  • Pathogen recognition, presentation and elimination

Pointing out in particular the roles of genetic variants in the following proteins: MBL2, CD209 and CLEC4M, TLRs, HLAs, FCGR2A and CD55 and studying their relevance to Coronavirus.

  • Inflammation

Focusing on Cytokines and other inflammation-related genes such as inhibitors of viral replication or viral entry

  • Primary immunodeficiency

Mentioning the mutations in STK4, RAB27A, IL1RN, IFNAR2, IRF7 and TLRs genes as possibly associated with Covid‐19 severity in PID patients on one hand whereas BTK germline mutation (S578Y) could be associated to a lower degree of severity, as the absence of B cells results in suppressed development of inflammatory cascade and cytokine storm.


Although we understand from this review that a lot still has to be done in this special field of research, it is clear also – and this is the paper’s conclusion – that “Employment of high throughput sequencing and powerful bioinformatics methods, now broadly available, could further help verify the involved genetic variants in different ethnic groups and are expected to continuously contribute to the genetic basis of Covid‐19 susceptibility”


We at 4bases are proud to support research and thus contribute to the progress of applied science.


[1] Darbeheshti F, Mahdiannasser M, Uhal BD, Ogino S, Gupta S, Rezaei N. Interindividual immunogenic variants: Susceptibility to coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus and influenza virus. Rev Med Virol. 2021 Mar 16:e2189. doi: 10.1002/rmv.2234. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33724604.