COVID-GWAB: A Web-Based Prediction of COVID-19 Host Genes via Network Boosting of Genome-Wide Association Data

Seungbyn Baek, Sunmo Yang, Insuk Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Host genetics affect both the susceptibility and response to viral infection. Searching for host genes that contribute to COVID-19, the Host Genetics Initiative (HGI) was formed to investigate the genetic factors involved in COVID-19 via genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The GWAS suffer from limited statistical power and in general, only a few genes can pass the conventional significance thresholds. This statistical limitation may be overcome by boosting weak association signals through integrating independent functional information such as molecular interactions. Additionally, the boosted results can be evaluated by various independent data for further connections to COVID-19. We present COVID-GWAB, a web-based tool to boost original GWAS signals from COVID-19 patients by taking the signals of the interactome neighbors. COVID-GWAB takes summary statistics from the COVID-19 HGI or user input data and reprioritizes candidate host genes for COVID-19 using HumanNet, a co-functional human gene network. The current version of COVID-GWAB provides the pre-processed data of releases 5, 6, and 7 of the HGI. Additionally, COVID-GWAB provides web interfaces for a summary of augmented GWAS signals, prediction evaluations by appearance frequency in COVID-19 literature, single-cell transcriptome data, and associated pathways. The web server also enables browsing the candidate gene networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1446
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Research Foundation funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (2018R1A5A2025079 and 2019M3A9B6065192) and funded in part by the Brain Korea 21 (BK21) FOUR Program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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