Increased risk of COVID-19 mortality rate in IFITM3 rs6598045 G allele carriers infected by SARS-CoV-2 delta variant
The interferon-induced transmembrane-protein 3 (IFITM3) is a vital component of the immune system's defense against viral infection. Variants in the IFITM3 gene have been linked to changes in expression and the risk of severe Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to investigate whether IFITM3 rs6598045, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) cycle threshold (Ct) values, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants are associated with an increased mortality rate of COVID-19.
The genotyping of IFITM3 rs6598045 polymorphism was analyzed using the amplification refractory mutation system-polymerase chain reaction in 1342 recovered and 1149 deceased patients positive for SARS-CoV-2.
In this study, IFITM3 rs6598045 G allele as minor allele frequency was significantly more common in the deceased patients than in the recovered ones. Furthermore, the highest mortality rates were observed in Delta variant and lowest qPCR Ct values. COVID-19 mortality was associated with IFITM3 rs6598045 GG and AG in Delta variant and IFITM3 rs6598045 AG in Alpha variant. A statistically significant difference was observed in the qPCR Ct values between individuals with GG and AG genotypes and those with an AA genotype.
A possible correlation was observed between the mortality rate of COVID-19, the G allele of IFITM3 rs6598045, and SARS-CoV-2 variants. However, large-scale research is still required to validate our results.