Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, PLoS, Rheumatology / 04.11.2022 Interview with: Professor Tim Vyse Professor of Molecular Medicine and Dr David Morris Non Clinical Lecturer in Molecular Genetics Guy’s Hospital, London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We observed a correlation between the genetic associations with severe COVID-19 and those with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, Lupus), and aimed to discover which genetic loci were shared by these diseases and what biological processes were involved. This resulted in the discovery of several genetic loci, some of which had alleles that were risk for both diseases and some of which were risk for severe COVID-19 yet protective for SLE. The locus with most evidence of shared association (TYK2) is involved in interferon production, a process that is important in response to viral infection and known to be dysregulated in SLE patients.  Other shared associated loci contained genes also involved in the defense response and the immune system signaling. These results add to the growing evidence that there are alleles in the human genome that provide protection against viral infection yet are risk for autoimmune disease. (more…)