Covid variants in Italy, the Italian network for sequencing and monitoring takes shape. It will be, announces the Higher Institute of Health “in a single public platform, epidemiological surveillance, sequencing of circulating viral strains, immunological monitoring, research and training on the various aspects of Sars-CoV-2 infection” announces the Higher Institute of Health. “We aim at a permanent structure to manage this and future infectious emergencies in our country”.
“The network, which integrates existing centers, functions and professionals – explains the ISS in a note – is promoted by the Ministry of Health with a multi-year structural funding, and is developed in collaboration with the anti-Covid-19 commissioner led by General Francesco Figliuolo. It will be composed, for the part relating to the sequencing, by the regional reference microbiology laboratories, by the military health laboratories, by the supporting microbiology laboratories identified within each Region / PA and will make use of the contribution of centers with high sequencing capacity. A fundamental role is foreseen for the research centers, which in addition to developing knowledge, will contribute to strengthening the training network for young specialists. An important support action will be dedicated to setting up a network of laboratories for the immunological monitoring of vaccine efficacy and response to natural infection “.
“The network – declares the president of the ISS, Silvio Brusaferro – is proposed as a ‘system’ that unites, strengthens and coordinates the highly professional action of the regional reference laboratories, thanks to which today we monitor the presence of virus variants in our Country, with research and training centers and professionals, inserting the initial idea of a Consortium in a more articulated and unitary context “.
“The network – the ISS further details – will guarantee in a single platform the surveillance of the circulation of Sars-CoV-2 genetic variants, will be integrated with Covid-19 surveillance coordinated by ISS and with the national vaccination registry coordinated by Ministry of Health. Thanks to the network it will be possible to enrich the monitoring and study of these and other future epidemics from different perspectives: in addition to epidemiological and monitoring, that of viro-immunological studies, that of understanding the mechanisms and effects of the disease , and again that of the observation and evaluation of the antibody and cellular response of vaccinations, and last but not least that of training young people with specific skills in the virological and immunological fields, in order to strengthen the ability to prevent, control and respond to infectious diseases “.