ImmuNapoli 2023: Lectio magistralis "Virology in the III Millennium: Challenges and Opportunities"
Il 05/10/2023 ore 14.30 - 15.30
c/o Area di ricerca Napoli 1
via Pietro Castellino n.111
Lectio magistralis held by Prof. Guido Silvestri "Virology in the III Millennium: Challenges and Opportunities"
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought virology to the forefront of the scientific discourse, and to levels that were not seen since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the early 1980s. There are no doubts that the research-based response to COVID-19 has been nothing short of outstanding.
Safe and effective vaccines were developed in ~10 months from the first publication of the virus genetic sequence, and a wide array of effective antiviral drugs, monoclonal antibodies, and immuno-modulatory agents have made a major impact of the clinical management of the disease. At the basic research level, a rapid and massive scientific effort has resulted, in a very short period of time, in an extraordinarily thorough characterization of the key genetic, biologic, and molecular features of SARS-CoV-2 and of its pathogenic interaction with the host, while virological surveillance studies conducted worldwide at a large scale have allowed a constant monitoring of the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in major challenges for virologists, including:
(i) the involvement in communication efforts and media-based discussions,
(ii) the need to navigate the pervasive interference of political agendas,
(iii) the well-known dangers of denialism, anti-vax movements, and other conspiracy theories.
Finally, a more subtle but equally dangerous form of ideology has emerged, according to which the concept of efficacy and safety of the non-pharmacological interventions to contain the virus (i.e., lockdowns, curfews, and school closures) have been elevated to represent the official voice of science when, in fact, these NPIs should be seen as desperate emergency measures in the early stages of COVID-19 whose efficacy and safety in the post-vaccine phase of the pandemic remains highly controversial.
Istituto di biochimica e biologia cellulare- CNR
Piergiuseppe De Berardinis
CNR - Istituto di biochimica e biologia cellulare
c/o Area di Ricerca Napoli 1
Via Pietro Castellino n. 111
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