Covid-19 affects patients in many different ways; some show no symptoms while for others it is proving fatal. In order to better understand why this is happening, Marbella's Hospital Costa del Sol has joined up with the University of Malaga to investigate the likely genetic factors at work in the development of Covid-19 symptoms.
The research centres on a study to define the relation between viral load and up to 700 genes related to the immune system and inflammatory response that a patient's body has on entering the hospital and as the illness develops during their stay.
Researchers want to see which genetic profile those with the worse symptoms have. This would then allow medics to identify early on those most predisposed and so anticipate their needs and avoid them going on to intensive care.
The work has been funded by a 15,500-euro grant from the local El Fuerte foundation, given to the hospital at the start of the pandemic. Results are expected in the first part of this year.
In parallel, the hospital and the university are supporting a nationwide programme to develop a Covid-19 risk scale to help identify the patients most likely to be worst affected by the virus.