A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), causing an emerging coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which has taken a catastrophic turn with high toll rates in China and subsequently spreading across the globe. The rapid spread of this virus to more than 210 countries while affecting more than 25 million people and causing more than 843,000 human deaths, it has resulted in a pandemic situation in the world. The SARS-CoV-2 virus belongs to the genus Betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, all of which originated in bats. It is highly contagious, causing symptoms like fever, dyspnea, asthenia and pneumonia, thrombocytopenia, and the severely infected patients succumb to the disease. Coronaviruses (CoVs) among all known RNA viruses have the largest genomes ranging from 26 to 32 kb in length. Extensive research has been conducted to understand the molecular basis of the SARS-CoV-2 infection and evolution, develop effective therapeutics, antiviral drugs, and vaccines, and to design rapid and confirmatory viral diagnostics as well as adopt appropriate prevention and control strategies. To date, August 30, 2020, no effective, proven therapeutic antibodies or specific drugs, and vaccines have turned up. In this review article, we describe the underlying molecular organization and phylogenetic analysis of the coronaviruses, including the SARS-CoV-2, and recent advances in diagnosis and vaccine development in brief and focusing mainly on developing potential therapeutic options that can be explored to manage this pandemic virus infection, which would help in valid countering of COVID-19.
Currently, the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has taken a disastrous turn with high toll rates alone in China itself, most likely. The infection is spreading across the globe. There are no licensed vaccines or therapeutic agents (i.e., antivirals and monoclonal antibodies) indicated for this coronavirus prevention or treatment. However, researchers are working to develop countermeasures. Several vaccine candidates for both SARS-CoV-2 are in early clinical trials. This review is an accumulative hub of the latest knowledge and out comings of all novel approaches to tackle this deadly disease. Validated and clinically proven therapeutic measures are in great need at this hour of crisis to ensure global safety and on stopping this pandemic before it leads to distressing global outbreaks.
Under the current COVID-19 pandemic scenario, the global threats are increasing, more countries are being predisposed, and new outbreaks are being reported, increasing the number of infected cases and risks to non-infected persons—this necessitates timely intervention for appropriate management of affected ones and prevention of threats to healthy ones. Non-availability of specific antivirals against COVID-19 is causing heavy tolls in infected persons. Utilization of conventional therapies as a supportive treatment, though, helps in managing severity but is proving ineffective on a long-term basis as the overall mortality is changing significantly daily. Non-specific antiviral therapy by oseltamivir, ganciclovir, antibacterial therapy by moxifloxacin, ceftriaxone, azithromycin; and glucocorticoid therapy is being improvised by adding broad-spectrum antivirals such as remdesivir, chloroquine, or lopinavir/ritonavir. Passive treatment by α-interferon atomization inhalation, immunoglobulin G therapy, or plasma therapy is proving beneficial, but require confirmation in clinical trials in order to be recommended.
However, there is a dire need for development and evaluation of specific antivirals against COVID-19. There have been attempts to explore the applicability of already existing antivirals, potential antivirals, or a combination thereof along with supportive medicines; however, the focus should be on designing and adopting safe and effective modalities against SARS-CoV-2. These include developing neutralizing antibodies, oligonucleotides targeting SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome, passive antibody transfer, drug repurposing using available antivirals, anti-viral proteases, blocking coronavirus receptors like ACE2, targeting spike proteins, and combination therapies.
Alternative measures like neutralizing antibodies, oligonucleotides, passive antibody transfer, and drug repurposing can bring a revolutionary change until the core researchers are busy finding the specific target to curb the SARS-CoV-2 which can be time taking and still at large.
Reference & source information: https://ann-clinmicrob.biomedcentral.com/
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