Sars-Cov-2 - What Have We Learned in 8 Months?
Since its emergence in Wuhan, China in 2019, the new human coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has spread throughout the world causing unprecedented damage in the history of worldwide pandemics. Today we know more about the virus itself, how to detect it in the human organism, what symptoms it causes and what treatment shall be applied, than ever before. In two recently published papers in the scientific journal Postępy Mikrobiologii - Advancements of Microbiology, the authors summarize the current state of knowledge regarding SARS-CoV-2, comparing it to the previously existing SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, as well reviewing the present expertise and possible treatment approaches.
The scientists from the Department of Molecular Virology at University of Warsaw in their paper Sars-Cov-2 and Betacoronavirus: What Have We Learned in 8 Months? describe respiratory syndrome-related and highly pathogenic coronaviruses SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV comparing them to the pandemic SARS-CoV-2. The presented research shows that SARS-CoV-2 is similar to the other coronaviruses, however noticeable dissimilarities regarding genome organization and protein structure can be observed. Especially significant is the fact, that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein may contact a much larger area of the host receptor ACE2 when compared to the previously encountered SARS-CoV. Such distinct features may explain the efficiency of the current pandemic. The research results might be also useful for the design and development of specific antiviral therapy against SARS-CoV-2.
To find out more please read the paper here.
In the second paper, the authors review the current status of drugs and treatments used during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Up until now, the attention of the world has been focused mostly on the infection detection and prevention, however with time the situation became dramatic, it is critical that an effective treatment is introduced. The article Covid-19 Therapy: What Have We Learned in 8 Months? describes various approaches, drug applications and treatments and their possibilities to combat the effects of SARS-CoV-2 viral infection. Unfortunately, the authors conclude that despite of a relatively long time since the start of the pandemic, hundreds of clinical trials and intensive evaluation of new SARS-CoV-2 treatments, our current state of knowledge is still unsatisfactory and an effective therapy still remains to be discovered.
The article is freely available for reading here.