These data strongly imply that protracted COVID is common among those who have had severe coronavirus illness (COVID-19). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are about 40 million long-term COVID patients in only Europe and the United States (U.S.). After recovering from the initial severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, long COVID is defined by persisting COVID-19-associated symptoms and newly emergent symptoms for months.

Fever, headaches, excruciating exhaustion, post-exercise malaise, dyspnea, loss of taste and smell, cognitive deficits such trouble concentrating, and other issues with the circulatory, digestive, and renal systems are some of the symptoms that are frequently described.Expanding our knowledge of the demographic and genetic risk factors linked to lengthy COVID has been emphasized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is yet unknown whether hereditary factors contribute to long-term COVID risks and symptoms.

In the current work, the researchers identified the genetic risk factors for lengthy COVID using low-coverage whole genome sequencing, which can affordably sequence different variations with 99% confidence. Long COVID patients were chosen for the trial based on strict inclusion criteria that included a past antibody or ribonucleic acid (RNA) positive test for SARS-CoV-2 and the development of five or more persistent signs or symptoms for longer than six months.

Data on demographic characteristics, existing comorbidities, and date of onset of symptoms were collected. Patients with confounding conditions such as neurocognitive disorders, fibromyalgia, mental health disorders, and post-traumatic stress syndrome that present long COVID-like symptoms were excluded. Hospitalized patients were also excluded since their persistent symptoms could have been a part of an extended recovery from severe COVID-19.

Blood samples were collected and subjected to low-pass whole genome sequencing. The participant selection ensured that the patients were not related to one another and their ancestries were evaluated. A control group consisting of available genomes of subpopulations of Iberian Spanish ancestry was also included in the study.