Associations between genetic variants in the vitamin d metabolism pathway and severity of covid-19 among uae residents

Fatme Al-Anouti, Mira Mousa, Spyridon N. Karras, William B. Grant, Zainab Alhalwachi, Laila Abdel-Wareth, Maimunah Uddin, Nawal Alkaabi, Guan K. Tay, Bassam Mahboub, Habiba Alsafar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Vitamin D has many effects on cells in the immune system. Many studies have linked low vitamin D status with severity of COVID-19. Genetic variants involved in vitamin D metabolism have been implicated as potential risk factors for severe COVID-19 outcomes. This study investigated how genetic variations in humans affected the clinical presentation of COVID-19. In total, 646 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were divided into two groups: noncritical COVID-19 (n = 453; 70.12%) and a critical group (n = 193; 29.87%). Genotype data on the GC, NADSYN1, VDR, and CYP2R1 genes along with data on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were compiled in patients admitted to a major hospital in the United Arab Emirates between April 2020 and January 2021. We identified 12 single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with the critical COVID-19 condition: rs59241277, rs113574864, rs182901986, rs60349934, and rs113876500; rs4944076, rs4944997, rs4944998, rs4944979, and rs10898210; and rs11574018 and rs11574024. We report significant associations between genetic determinants of vitamin D metabolism and COVID-19 severity in the UAE population. Further research needed to clarify the mechanism of action against viral infection in vitamin D deficiency. These variants could be used with vaccination to manage the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and could be particularly valuable in populations in which vitamin D deficiency is common.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3680
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


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