Neerthal DNA linked to COVID-19, study finds

Neerthal DNA linked to COVID-19, study finds

The Italian researchers say their study of people infected with COVID-19 shows that those with certain genetic differences attributable to Neanderthal ancestry were far more likely to experience severe symptoms requiring hospitalization.

The study found that people with the Neanderthal haplotype were twice as likely to develop severe pneumonia and three times as likely to end up on a ventilator in an intensive-care unit.

The link between health and Neanderthal DNA has been suggested by other studies. A new study released by the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution found that Neanderthal DNA and a genetic disorder known as Dupuytren's disease were linked. In March, a study published in Nature discovered a link between Neanderthal ancestry and an increased risk of an extreme immune response, or cytokine storm, from contracting COVID-19.