Italian luxury powerhouse Dolce & Gabbana is collaborating with Humanitas University to join the global fight against Coronavirus.The study, lead by Professor Alberto Mantovani, Scientific Director of Humanitas and Emeritus Professor of Humanitas University, aims to clarify the responses of the immune system to Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 with the goal of developing diagnostic and therapeutic interventions to support the development of a solution to the global problem. Virologists Professor Elisa Vicenzi and Professor Massimo Clementi of San Raffaele Vita-Salute University have also been brought on board for their expertise as they were the first specialists in Italy to have isolated the pathogen responsible for SARS.
“We felt we had to do something to fight this devastating virus, which is threatening all mankind. In these cases, it is important to make the right choice. This is why we thought Humanitas University would be the ideal partner, whose excellence and humanity make it a special entity, with which we have already cooperated on a scholarship project. In the face of these tragedies of such a vast scale, each action may seem insignificant. But Prof. Mantovani told us the African fable about a hummingbird: while all the other animals were fleeing from a fire in the forest, it flew in the opposite direction, continuing to bring water in the attempt to put out the fire. We understood that in any case it was worth doing something. Even a very small gesture can have enormous significance. Supporting scientific research is a moral duty for us, we hope our contribution will help to solve this dramatic problem”, explain Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
The Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is similar to the SARS virus which caused a global epidemic in 2002 and 2003, affecting 8,000 people around the world. “SARS-CoV-2”, explain Prof. Elisa Vicenzi and Prof. Massimo Clementi,“belongs to the large family of coronaviruses. Some members of this family cause non-serious upper respiratory tract infections, while others, such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and the new SARS-CoV-2, cause major diseases with a high mortality rate. The ability of some infected subjects to heal faster or have a less aggressive infection may depend on several factors, including the innate response that helps block the invasion of cells by the viruses, or stop early viral multiplication after infection. Hence the idea of testing innate immunity molecules to verify their antiviral activity and understand how they interact with SARS-CoV-2, clarifying for example whether they interfere with the response of cells infected with the virus, even with unexpected mechanisms. This could pave the way to the formulation and development of strategies useful for patients.”