Document Type : Commentary

Authors

1 MD, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 PhD, Bevelacqua Resources, Richland, WA, United States

3 MD, PhD, Department of Radiation Oncology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois, United States

4 MD, PhD, Department of Radiation Oncology, Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital Hines, Illinois

5 MD, PhD, Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

6 PhD, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

7 MD, Pediatric Infectious Ward, Yasuj University of Medical Sciences, Yasuj, Iran

8 PhD, Department of Radiology, School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

9 PhD, Department of Medical Physics and Engineering, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

An accumulating body of evidence shows that various ethnicities are differentially affected by SARS-COV-2 infection. Moreover, some evidence shows that due to the vaccine inequity and millions of people living with HIV, a major catastrophe could occur in African countries that possibly affects the whole world. Given the possibility that Neanderthal genes confer a slight increase in susceptibility, this difference, at least to some extent, might possibly decrease the risk of the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants among black people in Africa. Recent studies show less death and fewer cases among the ethnic group classified as “Black Africans”. Although Neanderthal DNA might explain some differences in morbidity and mortality of COVID-19, a multitude of confounders complicate things to where drawing definite conclusions is hard or even impossible. Using selective-pressure-free treatments (e.g. low dose radiotherapy) for COVID-19 pneumonia would be of crucial importance everywhere, but particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where “long COVID” in millions of people with HIV paves the road for the more frequent emergence of new variants. 

Keywords