Coronavirus, the hypothesis of a “genetic shield” that protected the southern regions from the Sars Cov 2 tsunami


It is an idea, a hypothesis that awaits scientific validity, but that must be reported and discussed. A ‘genetic shield’ may have protected Southern Italy from the tsunami SARS-CoV-2 which has overwhelmed the northern regions. When the epidemic that mostly swept Lombardy exploded, it was said that it was necessary to avoid that the wave of flood hit the southern regions who instead recorded a much lower number of cases and deaths than expected. “The hypothesis is to be validated before drawing certain conclusions, but it is already founded on solid scientific bases,” he explains to Adnkronos Salute Antonio Giordano among the authors of an article published on Frontiers in Immunology. The paper, “an opinion that anticipates a very important work we are conducting on the topic”, is titled “Covid-19 and high mortality in Italy: let’s not forget genetic susceptibility”. The idea, in summary, is that among the key factors that have helped to draw so clearly the map of the new coronavirus epidemic in our country there is also “an interaction between DNA and the environment”.

“The hypothesis is that there is a form of defense” printed in the ‘code of life’, “a protective genetic structure” against the more serious effects of the pandemic pathogen, “which by numbers seems more widespread in the South than in the North”, he observes Giordano. Founder and director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine of Philadelphia, professor of Pathological Anatomy at the University of Siena, the expert also boasts a position in the scientific board of the Higher Institute of Health, as delegate of the ministry of the Environment on the links between diseases and environmental injuries. During the lockdown Giordano tried to analyze “the possible causes of the high rate of infection and mortality in Italy”, collaborating with researchers from different sectors and signing this first article together with colleagues including Pierpaolo Correale and Reng Emilena Saladin of the Grand Metropolitan Hospital of Reggio Calabria, Giovanni Baglio of the Ministry of Health e Francesca Pentimalli of the Cancer Institute of Naples. The authors describe the main characteristics of the Covid 19 clinical course, the possible molecular mechanisms responsible for a worse outcome for patients, and the various therapeutic strategies that can be adopted to counteract the pathology and its complications. And they point the finger particularly “at the Hla system (human leukocyte antigen), which has a key role in shaping the antiviral immune response, both innate and acquired”.

The theory is therefore that “a specific genetic structure, consisting of particular variants of the Hla genes, could be the basis for Sars Cov 2’s susceptibility to disease and its severity. ” For Luciano Mutti, oncologist and professor at the Temple University of Philadelphia, “the identification of these genetic determinants would be crucial to evaluate the priority levels in future vaccination campaigns, for the clinical management of patients and to isolate individuals at risk, including health workers “. The study raises “another interesting possibility regarding the spread of the infection in Italy where the north of the country, where the disease was initially detected, was hit more severely. Although a massive migration from the “epicenter” regionsto the south it was registered before the national block, the southern regions recorded much lower infection rates“. Among other things, “it was speculated that the virus was circulating long before the national lockdown”, so the idea is that something will “help” the inhabitants of half of the boot. “While some have proposed that milder climatic conditions could help prevent viral spread,” the authors wonder whether “a specific genetic constitution could help protect citizens of the South. Additional large-scale case-control studies could shed light on this possible aspect “, but” the solid foundations for thinking about it already exist “, Giordano assures. “We are increasing the number of cases to arrive at the final figure”, he explains. And to those who object that many citizens of southern Italy have actually lived in the North for generations, the scientist replies by recalling the existence of “complex interactions between genetics and the environment. We also need to consider a number of important factors that we are looking into, not least the possible role of pollution from fine particles“.

The article on Frontiers in Immunology

Coronavirus memorial

Support never like now
we need you.

In these weeks of pandemic we journalists, if we do our job with conscience,
                        we do a public service. This is also why we are proud every day here at
                        to offer hundreds of new content for free to all citizens: news, exclusive insights,
                        expert interviews, surveys, videos and much more. All this work, however, has a great economic cost.
                        Advertising, in a time when the economy is stagnant, offers limited revenues.
                        Not in line with the access boom. This is why I ask those who read these lines to support us.
                        To give us a minimum contribution, equal to the price of a cappuccino per week,
                        fundamental for our work.
Become a supporting user by clicking here.

Peter Gomez

But now we are the ones who need you.
                        Because our work has a cost.
                        We are proud to be able to offer hundreds of new content every day for free to all citizens.
                        But advertising, in a time when the economy is stagnant, offers limited revenues.
                        Not in line with the boom in access to
                        This is why I ask you to support us, with a minimum contribution, equal to the price of a cappuccino per week.
                        A small but fundamental sum for our work. Help us out!
Become a supporting user!

With gratitude
Peter Gomez

Support now

Available payments

Previous article

Coronavirus, lungs “burned by Covid”: transplanted an 18-year-old boy. First such intervention in Europe


Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here