In DepthCOVID-19

DNA test to predict odds of severe COVID-19 draws scrutiny

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Science  11 Jun 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6547, pp. 1139
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6547.1139


For people not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 or still nervous about venturing into crowds, the sales pitch may be alluring: Drool into a tube to provide your DNA and mail it off to see how likely you are to be among the 10% to 15% of people who will end up in the hospital or die from a SARS-CoV-2 infection. That's the promise of a $175 test an Australian company launched last week in the United States. It combines genetic data with someone's age, sex, and preexisting medical conditions to predict their risk of becoming extremely ill from COVID-19. Yet several genetics experts warn that how a person's genes influence the course of COVID-19 remains too murky to deploy such risk assessments.

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