“So the virus surprised us by attacking us on several fronts” – Chronicle

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    Milan, 11 July 2020 - Coronavirus entered Lombardy "with multiple and concentric assaults of different viral strains, in different places but at the same time", explains Carlo Federico Perno, former director of Niguarda laboratory medicine.  And it circulated "under trace, masked by the flu", adds Professor Fausto Baldanti of San Matteo of Pavia, for at least a month when the discovery of patient 1 in Codogno, thanks to the intuition of an anesthesiologist who forced the protocols of the WHO and the ECDC, materialized "the worst scenario ever", that is, an autochthonous outbreak "of unknown dimensions and causes".  Against which, ...
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    <p>Milan, 11 July 2020 - Coronavirus entered Lombardy "with multiple and concentric assaults of different viral strains, in different places but at the same time", explains Carlo Federico Perno, former director of Niguarda laboratory medicine.  And it circulated "under trace, masked by the flu", adds Professor Fausto Baldanti of San Matteo of Pavia, for at least a month when the discovery of patient 1 in Codogno, thanks to the intuition of an anesthesiologist who forced the protocols of the WHO and the ECDC, materialized "the worst scenario ever", that is, an autochthonous outbreak "of unknown dimensions and causes".  Against which, adds Perno, also "the tracking system had to be rethought".</p> 

Here is “what happened in Lombardy” reconstructed in a study by Niguarda and San Matteo financed by the Cariplo Foundation, which crosses the largest sequencing of the viral genome conducted so far in the same geographical area with serological investigations on the blood of donors from the red zone . The Niguarda and San Matteo researchers (whose laboratory, Baldanti points out, “thanks to the postgraduates, in twenty weeks he processed the amount of molecular tests that we would have done in twenty years”) sequenced the viral genome in the swabs of 371 infected from the 12 Lombard provinces diagnosed between February 22 and April 4. Focusing on 346 patients, they found four variants of the “European strain” of Sars-CoV-2: a strain always from China, but “mediated” by a passage in Europe, which as confirmed by another study conducted by the State and by Sacco is prevalent in the Italian epidemic (out of 59 viral genomes analyzed, only one was comparable to the Wuhan virus and the majority was attributable to the first European cluster, in Germany via Shanghai).

Niguarda and San Matteo have identified two “lines” or viral transmission chains in Lombardy: the A (131 sequences) was widespread since January 24, especially in the North (the Bergamo area) and was the prevalent one in Milan as well; the B (211 sequences) at least since January 27 in the south of Lodi and Cremona, and three variants have been identified. The variants consist of tiny genetic differences within a virus that has been shown to be “extremely stable”, underlines Professor Alberto Mantovani, head of the Research Commission of the Cariplo Foundation; and this makes it more susceptible to a vaccine, but also to serum-based therapies, such as plasma and monoclonal antibodies. The results of the study are available to the scientific community, explains Giovanni Fosti, president of the Cariplo Foundation which is launching a two million euro call for research projects on big data, always with the aim of promoting “non-proprietary but generative knowledge “. Try also to answer the questions that the study leaves open.

For example, the reasons for the current lower aggressiveness of Covid (in Lombardy yesterday there were 190 inpatients and 27 in intensive care), given that, underlines Perno, its scarce genetic variability shows that “the virus has not become better”. And because in Alzano and Bergamo the Sars-CoV-2 has “attacked more heavily, from a clinical point of view” and has “spread with much greater rapidity”.

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https://www.ilgiorno.it/milano/cronaca/cos%C3%AC-il-virus-ci-ha-sorpresi-attaccandoci-su-pi%C3%B9-fronti-1.5309624

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