Objective: The impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been unceasingly ongoing worldwide. Recent bioinformatics analysis and epidemiologic studies have highlighted that the functional polymorphisms on the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene may have an impact on the clinical progress of COVID-19. In this study, we aimed to determine the impact of the ACE1 gene I/D polymorphism and ACE2 peptidase-2 domain variants on disease severity.
Methods: Hundred patients with confirmed COVID-19 related pneumonia [50 patients with severe disease in intensive care unit (ICU) and 50 patients not in ICU] were compared on the basis of genetic and clinical characteristics. Genomic DNA was purified from peripheral blood lymphocytes with an automated QIA symphony DSP DNA Mini-Kit. The Sanger sequencing analysis was performed. The frequencies of ACE1 gene polymorphism and ACE2 PD variants were compared in patients hospitalized in ICU and those not in ICU. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 22.0 was used for statistical analysis.
Results: The sequencing analysis of the ACE2 gene exon 1 and 2 revealed none of the polymorphisms investigated or any other variants in the present cohort. The frequencies of the ACE1 ID, DD, and II genotypes were 51%, 31%, and 18%, respectively. The frequency of the D allele was similar between the ICU and non-ICU groups (50.4% versus 49.6%). Older age and the presence of advanced stage radiologic abnormalities on admission were detected as independent predictors of ICU requirement.
Conclusion: No effect of any ACE1 gene polymorphism on predicting ICU requirement was detected. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study investigating the impact of ACE gene polymorphisms on clinical severity of COVID-19 in a Turkish cohort.