Corona, the silent killer!

According to the researchers, this new virus is different from all the other coronaviruses as it is potential to attack on the human cells. A mutated gene in virus similar to the one found in HIV, Ebola and avian influenza, is found exclusively in abundance in SARS-CoV-2.

There was a global concern and subsequent race to invent a vaccine and ultimately it has been materialised. To help develop diagnostics, the full genome of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected and published. Drugs targeting the ‘furin’ enzyme will prevent the virus replication in the host. The spike of the virus is also the main target of neutralizing antibodies and very important for vaccine and therapeutic design. Blocking ACE2 can kill SARS-CoV-2 as per the research by German and Russian scientists.

Certain viruses can form biofilm just like the bacterial biofilms which are protective mechanisms against the immune system and help the cells to spread from cell to cell. Viral biofilms act as major mechanisms of propagation and replication for some viruses involved in many persistent viral infections. A study by researchers and the scientists have shown that microbial biofilms work like protective clothing against extreme environmental conditions.

Viral genes unique to SARS-CoV-2 are targeted for developing diagnostic assays. Initially, the assay was developed from genetic similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS and was later refined after the whole genome of the virus was sequenced and analysed. The current SARS-CoV-2 assay works by detecting the E gene of the virus which codes for the viral envelope and the RdRP gene that codes for the enzyme – RNA-dependent RNA polymerase that ultimately helps the viral RNA to complete replication from an RNA template.

Blood parameters are analyzed in infected patients and Polymerase Chain Reaction technique is used for pathogen detection and to check for the presence of specific antibodies. Working with dangerous pathogens involves great risks for the researchers, scientists and other medical professionals. Such research work should be conducted in the most isolated environment situated away from densely populated areas. Non-invasive method includes saliva testing, and a swab test of the mouth, nose and throat are also done with the required pre cautions.

It was found that SARS-CoV-2 could be transmitted through multiple channels.Oral swabs followed by molecular diagnosis confirmed the presence of the virus in the infected patients. Many coronaviruses can also be transmitted through the oral-fecal route as confirmed by the presence of the virus in blood and anal swabs in a later stage of the infection. Both the molecular and serological tests are needed to confirm the infection.

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