The HLA (Human Leukocytes Antigen) gene group plays a critical role in determining if and how we respond to various antigens inside and outside our bodies. Without getting into the finer details, these genes basically provide the extremely wide variety of binding surfaces to identify and to respond to any foreign substance that we encounter whether microbial or simply a chemical. This role then explains why some HLA’s would cause either a stronger or weaker response to a given infection… like COVID.
In this study by University of California at San Francisco researchers, they wanted to identify the reason or reasons some people seem to be “super-dodgers”. These individuals seem to evade getting any symptoms from COVID despite clear exposures. They found that those people with HLA *15:01 have a much better chance of not getting symptoms versus those without the gene. Two copies significantly magnified the effect. According to another podcast (Today in Virology), this HLA was correlated with reactivity to another coronavirus. The likely mechanism is that if someone has this HLA, is exposed to the other coronavirus, and then gets exposed to COVID, they are better prepared to knock out the COVID infection before they get symptoms.
Those working in mold detox and Lyme therapy have long recognized that HLA genes play a role in whether or not someone becomes reactive to mold or these infections. The rheumatology world has long recognized that these HLA genes play a role in the risk for various autoimmune diseases and Celiac. As research continues in this world of immune genetics, hopefully we will learn more for all of these conditions. In the meantime, we must also recognize that genetics like HLA are only 1 piece of the puzzle. In this study, HLA*15:01 was not a guarantee of mild disease. There are multiple factors playing a part in the risk for COVID but at least this is a start in helping others restore healthier, more abundant lives in our new COVID endemic world.
Augusto, D.G., Murdolo, L.D., Chatzileontiadou, D.S.M. et al. A common allele of HLA is associated with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Nature, 2023 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06331-x
Thanks to Science Daily:
University of California – San Francisco. “Gene mutation may explain why some don’t get sick from COVID-19.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2023. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/07/230719112613.htm>.
Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.