The consequences of a Sars-Cov-2 infection vary greatly from person to person. While most of the infected individuals are not very symptomatic or asymptomatic, some develop severe or even critical forms, with pneumopathies requiring a stay in intensive care. How to explain these disparities? Two new studies published August 19 in the journal Science Immunology  shed a major light on this question. They highlight genetic and immunological abnormalities which globally explain nearly 25% of severe forms of Covid-19. This breakthrough is the result of an international collaboration led by researchers from Inserm and teacher-researchers from the University of Paris and doctors from the AP-HP in the human genetics of infectious diseases laboratory, in its two branches: the Imagine Institute, located at the Necker-Enfants Malades AP-HP Hospital, and at Rockefeller University in New York. The teams of this laboratory, co-directed by Prof. Jean-Laurent Casanova and Laurent Abel, have shown that all these anomalies hamper immunity controlled by type 1 interferon, the first immunological barrier against viral infections.
Last March, Cerba HealthCare and Institut Imagine signed a partnership agreement to develop a screening test to detect patients likely to develop severe symptoms.