Objectives: Recent studies suggest that asthma may have a protective effect on COVID-19.We aimed to investigate the causality between asthma and two COVID-19 outcomes and explore the mechanisms underlining this connection. Methods: Summary results of GWAS were used for the analyses, including asthma (88,486 cases and 447,859 controls), COVID-19 hospitalization (6,406 hospitalized COVID-19 cases and 902,088 controls), and COVID-19 infection (14,134 COVID-19 cases and 1,284,876 controls). The Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis was performed to evaluate the causal effects of asthma on the two COVID-19 outcomes. A cross-trait meta-analysis was conducted to analyze genetic variants within two loci shared by COVID-19 hospitalization and asthma. Results: Asthma is associated with decreased risk both for COVID-19 hospitalization (odds ratio (OR): 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.70-0.99) and for COVID-19 infection (OR: 0.83, 95%CI: 0.51-0.95). Asthma and COVID-19 share two genome-wide significant genes, including ABO at the 9q34.2 region and OAS2 at the 12q24.13 region. The meta-analysis revealed that ABO and ATXN2 contain variants with pleiotropic effects on both COVID-19 and asthma. Conclusion: In conclusion, our results suggest that genetic liability to asthma is associated with decreased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and to severe COVID-19 disease, which may be due to the protective effects of ongoing inflammation and, possibly, related compensatory responses against COVID-19 in its early stage.

Fuente: Front. Immunol.

21 March 2022