Yes, you read that right. Please note, however, that taking a genetic test will not serve as an official Coronavirus test should you suspect that you have the virus. If you have these suspicions or any of the symptoms, please contact the official Coronavirus hotline for South Africans. This genetic test can merely determine your susceptibility to the virus, and other diseases, by reporting on specific genes that play a role in susceptibility.
Can Everyone Get Coronavirus?
We all have different versions of the same genes called alleles. Some of these alleles are more prone to certain viruses or pathogens developing than others are. This is why there are different immune responses to COVID-19. Everyone can contract the virus, but some people will have different reactions and symptoms.
For viral infections, interferons are the first line of protectors. Interferons produce a kind of shield around the cell that contains the virus/es. White blood cells produce cytokines to act against viruses and alert the immune system to attack the invaders.
Genes are the blueprint that code the different parts of the immune system. You have genes that:
- code to act as receptors of the virus
- detect the virus
- activate the production of cytokines to destroy them and more
Genetic variants can cause differences in how any single part of the immune system works. Some people are genetically more able to easily fight off certain pathogens, while being more susceptible to others.
Your Genes Determine Your Body’s Infection Response
There are particular genetic variants that protect against viral infections like the flu.
Influenza can be caused by several different strains of the (flu) virus. Interestingly, studies show that most people exposed to a new flu strain don’t get the flu – they remain asymptomatic (meaning they show no symptoms).
Certain genes put people at risk of joint issues, however that same gene protects people against getting the flu. At the same time, there is a gene that determines an increased risk of complications related to the flu, while other genes play important roles in the development of adaptive immune responses. In this case, the person’s adaptive immune response is much slower to respond to threats and infections.
It is way too soon to know which genetic variants protect against the coronavirus. However, you can test your DNA’s particular make-up that is driving your immune system.
The Geneway DNA test tests for twenty genetic markers that help decode each person’s genetic make-up regarding their immune system. To find an accredited Geneway healthcare practitioner, or for more information, contact us.