Breaking News on COVID-19: Global Research Pinpoints the Causes of Many Severe Cases

October 28, 2020

From the onset of the pandemic, the extreme variations in how SARS-CoV-2 affects people have been puzzling. Most individuals experience mild or symptom-free infections that disappear quietly. For others, the virus may lead to severe illness and death. In two recent landmark papers in the journal Science, Jean-Laurent Casanova and his colleagues report that misguided antibodies and specific genetic mutations may explain a significant percentage of these differences. Their findings suggest that disruptions in the body’s production or activity of type 1 interferons, a set of virus-fighting molecules, define an underlying deficiency in people who become very ill from SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Casanova, a leader of the COVID Human Genetic Effort, and President Rick Lifton give an update on this unprecedented research and its potential to inspire new preventive measures and medical interventions against COVID-19.

The Rockefeller University
Virtual Discussions with Genuine Experts
October 20, 2020

Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D.
President and Carson Family Professor
Laboratory of Human Genetics and Genomics
The Rockefeller University

Jean-Laurent Casanova, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
The Rockefeller University


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