On the hunt for Covid variants: the joint project Asst Bergamo Est starts with the Mario Negri Institute

On the hunt for Covid variants: the joint project Asst Bergamo Est starts with the Mario Negri Institute
On the hunt for Covid variants: the joint project Asst Bergamo Est starts with the Mario Negri Institute

“Genetic surveillance will help to have a precise picture of the evolution of the epidemic in our province,” explains Giuseppe Remuzzi.

A scientific collaboration between Asst Bergamo Est and the Mario Negri Pharmacological Research Institute, on the hunt for variants of the virus.

“The objective of the partnership is to start a collaboration path applicable to the various areas of scientific research of common interest that provides for the Mario Negri Institute to benefit from the logistical and organizational support of the hospitals of Asst Bergamo Est and for the Company itself. socio-sanitary area to make use of the methodological and scientific support developed by the researchers of the Mario Negri Institute – explains a note from Asst Bergamo Est -. As part of this collaboration, research projects planned and conducted in partnership will be activated, sharing the respective skills, case studies and professional and scientific resources that enhance the specificities and different characteristics of the two organizations in synergy ».

The priority project involving the two structures fits into the current needs in terms of fighting the pandemic and focuses on the “Genotyping of Sars-Cov-2”.

A note from the Lombardy Region Welfare Directorate General of February 2020 invited laboratories that had the requirements to “Activation of Laboratory Medicine Services for inclusion in the Lombardy Region Network for the research of Sars-Cov-2 variants “.

«Based on these indications – he specifies Ariela Benigni, Research Coordinator of Mario Negri, Bergamo and Ranica offices – our laboratory of the Mario Negri Institute, in possession of the conditions and requirements necessary for inclusion in the Lombardy Region network for the research of Sars-Cov variants- 2, will collaborate with the Laboratory of the “FM Passi” territorial hospital unit (Pot) of Calcinate included in the regional network of laboratories for the research of Rna Sars-Cov-2 ».

The Calcinate laboratory, belonging to the Asst Bergamo Est Analysis Laboratory, directed by Dr. Alessandro Montanelli, was inaugurated in June last year. It is home to the line of 15 tampon processing machines, the result of highly sophisticated technologies together with innovative digitization processes, is part of the Innovative project made possible thanks to the Rotary District 2042, Porsche Consulting and Multiply Labs (a start-up of young people from Bergamo based in the USA) and in agreement with the Ats of Bergamo. The laboratory will receive the swabs and will proceed to the molecular analysis of the same by extracting the Rna samples.

These samples will be processed in the laboratories of the “Aldo and Cele Daccò” Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases of the Mario Negri Institute which boasts a documented experience in DNA sequencing techniques from traditional ones such as the Sanger method, to new sequencing. generation.

«Our laboratories – he explains Marina Noris, Head of Immunology and Genetics Laboratory – I am in a position to identify from the samples if the patient is infected with a mutated virus that corresponds to variants such as B.1.1.7 (English), B.1.351 (South African), P1 (Brazilian) and other known or new variants that may emerge».

The Mario Negri Institute will then send the results of the genotyping to Ats of Bergamo which will upload them to the appropriate portal.

“This genetic surveillance will help to have a precise picture of the evolution of the epidemic in our province and to prevent the spread of dangerous viral variants – he says Giuseppe Remuzzi, director of Mario Negri -. It is worth remembering that sequencing activity in Italy is far behind compared to other European countries. In March, the virus was sequenced in less than 8% of positive cases, with great differences between the Regions, Lombardy unfortunately is among the rearmost with less than 1% of positive genotyped samples. Precisely for this reason, the results of this collaboration will play an even more fundamental role ».

Per Francesco Locati, general manager Asst Bergamo Est «With this collaboration we set ourselves the goal of proceeding with the utmost promptness in identifying and containing the new variants of the virus. It is a matter of pride for us to share experiences, projects and professionalism with a prestigious center such as the Mario Negri Institute. I thank Prof. Giuseppe Remuzzi for this partnership which enriches and completes the range of activities to which Asst Bergamo Est is dedicated. The Lombardy Region is equipped with adequately specialized operational tools that allow it to keep the attention on the evolution of the pandemic high, in collaboration with the national health authorities. As far as we are concerned, we will also proceed quickly to allow the vaccination to be completed as soon as possible to limit circulation and the consequent mutation of the virus ».


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