The latest genetic test by Malaysian Genomics can screen for risks of severe or complex adverse reactions from Covid-19 virus infection
Kuala Lumpur, 5 October 2020 – Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Berhad (Malaysian Genomics) today announced the availability of Dtect® Immune Health, the company’s most recent genetic test which can screen DNA for risks of poor immune response, including complex or severe reactions, to viral infections. An important aspect of the Dtect® Immune Health test is that it can indicate whether an infection by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, might result in severe adverse reactions.
“The Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor is a type of protein which acts as an entry point for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to latch onto and infect other cells in organs such as the lungs, heart, liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Genetic mutations in the ACE2 gene, which encodes the ACE2 receptor, are linked to a higher risk of a more severe course of the disease. These mutations can be identified by the Dtect® Immune Health genetic screening test,” said Dr med. Gabriel Peter Salgo, Member of Malaysian Genomics’ Scientific Advisory Board.
Genetic variability of our immune system can influence how well our body’s immune system recognises pathogens such as viruses. These genetic variations can influence the strengths and weaknesses of various immune responses in different individuals, which may explain the different recovery rates between one individual and another for similar infections.
Unlike real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR) tests used by pathology laboratories, this genetic screening test is not designed to diagnose whether a person is or is not infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, the detailed results from the Dtect® Immune Health test can help people better understand their genetic risks for severe or complex adverse reactions to viral infections, and be better prepared to respond if such infections happen. Other than genetics, the strength of a person’s immune system is also influenced by his or her lifestyle, environment, diet, and stress level. As a result, doctors may be able to recommend precautionary interventions consisting of lifestyle, nutrition, or dietary changes to mitigate their patient’s genetic risks.
“Malaysian Genomics is pleased to launch Dtect® Immune Health which can help individuals and their doctors make better informed decisions to manage their immune health,” said Sasha Nordin, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysian Genomics. “Understanding the genetic predispositions related to potential immune system dysfunction, and knowing the potential risks involved, can allow individuals to take the necessary steps to safeguard their health.”
The new Dtect® Immune Health test adds to the company’s repertoire of genetic screening tests which are available through its network of partner doctors and healthcare centres. The test is suitable for individuals of all ages as it is non-invasive, requiring only swab of the inside of the mouth to collect a DNA sample.