Updated on December 20th, 2020
The research project “ORIGIN” has started -since few months ago- to investigate genetic factors influencing the course and severity of Covid-19 disease
The idea comes out from the researchers of the Clinical Research Center for Rare Diseases “Aldo e Cele Daccò”, a department of Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Bergamo, who have been committed for many years to explore genetic disorders at the origin of human diseases.
This study – patronized by the Municipalities of Albino, Alzano Lombardo and Nembro, known to be dramatically affected by SARS-CoV-2 last March – has involved in the first phase 1200 people: 400 who had a severe form of Covid, 400 who contracted the virus but did not get sick or had mild symptoms and 400 who have not been exposed to the coronavirus.
Pesenti Foundation provided a crucial support to the initial phase of the research study.
«The coronavirus is highly contagious and manifests itself in so many ways – says Giuseppe Remuzzi, director of Mario Negri Institute -: from a simple cold to fever and cough. This is true for a majority of patients, but it is not so for 10% of patients who can have much more serious symptoms that even cause respiratory crises and require hospitalization. We want to understand the reason for these differences, and the role of genetic factors in coronavirus susceptibility».
«The genome of two individuals – explains Marina Noris, Head of Laboratory of Immunology and Genetics – is identical for about 99.9%: it is the remaining 0.1% that makes the difference. Could these genome variations explain the mechanism of action in increasing susceptibility or resistance to COVID-19 infection? It would be very important to examine this issue to research the different ways to treat or prevent this disease, but this is only a hypothesis».
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