Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a kind of viral pneumonia which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 has been marked as the third introduction of a highly pathogenic coronavirus into the human population after the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the twenty-first century. In this minireview, we provide a brief introduction of the general features of SARS-CoV-2 and discuss current knowledge of molecular immune pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 on the base of the present understanding of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV infections, which may be helpful in offering novel insights and potential therapeutic targets for combating the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The occurrence and development of SARS-CoV-2 depend on the interaction between the virus and the individual’s immune system. Viral factors include virus type, mutation, viral load, viral titer, and viability of the virus in vitro. The individual’s immune system factors include genetics (such as HLA genes), age, gender, nutritional status, neuroendocrine-immune regulation, and physical status. These factors all contribute to whether an individual is infected with the virus, the duration and severity of the disease, and the reinfection. In the early stages of the epidemic, accurate diagnosis helps control the spread of the disease. It is imperative to develop new, safe, accurate, fast and simple new technologies for detecting SARS-CoV-2. Of course, physicians will intentionally intervene in the two factors to make them develop into a direction beneficial to human health, which can help patients recover as soon as possible. However, it must not be considered that medical intervention can achieve a 100% curative effect.
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