A team of researchers from Princeton University, Flatiron Institute of the Simons Foundation, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Naval Medical Research Center had begun studying a group of nearly 3,000 members of the U.S. Marine Corps before a COVID-19 outbreak during their training in 2020 and continued to follow them through the infections and afterwards. The results of their study appear in the current issue of the journal Cell Systems.
Using RNA sequencing and clinical measure analysis, the research team found that even though infected females had higher rates of symptoms, their average viral load was 2.6 times lower than that of the males. They also identified molecular signatures that pointed to a sex-specific genetic basis for the difference. “Sex-specific responses to COVID-19 are notoriously challenging to study, due to the many confounding variables, including comorbidities, differences in environment, fitness, etc,” said Olga Troyanskaya, a professor of computer science and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics (LSI) and director of Princeton Precision Health at Princeton University, the associate director for genomics at the Flatiron Institute of the Simons Foundation, and one of two co-senior authors of the study.
Click here for full story, by Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications