Genomics Risk Factors in COVID-19 Pandemic
Main Applicant – A/Prof Barnaby Young
National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID)

The study seeks to assess the prevalence and allele frequencies of host genetic variants determining the susceptibility and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections in individuals residing in Singapore.

Using the SG10K_Health genomic data, candidate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variant analysis will be carried out to catalogue variants reported to be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections in various population studies. The analysis will include SNP variants reported in Europe, Japan, Thailand, and the United States. The clinical relevance of the identified variants in terms of their impact on hospitalisations, disease severity and vaccine effectiveness will be assessed. The study further seeks to identify COVID-19 related host variants that may be unique to the local population, as well as new host variants of interest.

The identification of genomic risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 infections and severe disease, as well as genomic differences in vaccine effectiveness, will provide insights to enable the development of measures and policies to safeguard the health and wellbeing of individuals at higher risk of infections. These findings may guide service planning and delivery and can also enhance surveillance efforts to mitigate future outbreaks. Early and targeted interventions can improve health outcomes and have positive impacts on healthcare costs.