Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

SARS-CoV-2: An Overview of Virus Genetics, Transmission, and Immunopathogenesis

Version 1 : Received: 20 April 2021 / Approved: 21 April 2021 / Online: 21 April 2021 (16:25:25 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Farrag, M.A.; Amer, H.M.; Bhat, R.; Hamed, M.E.; Aziz, I.M.; Mubarak, A.; Dawoud, T.M.; Almalki, S.G.; Alghofaili, F.; Alnemare, A.K.; Al-Baradi, R.S.; Alosaimi, B.; Alturaiki, W. SARS-CoV-2: An Overview of Virus Genetics, Transmission, and Immunopathogenesis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6312. Farrag, M.A.; Amer, H.M.; Bhat, R.; Hamed, M.E.; Aziz, I.M.; Mubarak, A.; Dawoud, T.M.; Almalki, S.G.; Alghofaili, F.; Alnemare, A.K.; Al-Baradi, R.S.; Alosaimi, B.; Alturaiki, W. SARS-CoV-2: An Overview of Virus Genetics, Transmission, and Immunopathogenesis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6312.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6312
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18126312

Abstract

Nowadays, the human population is facing the third and may be the worst pandemic caused by human coronaviruses (CoVs). The virus was first reported in Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019 and spread within short time to almost all countries of the world. Genome analysis of the early virus isolates has revealed high similarity with SARS-CoV and hence the new virus was officially named SARS-CoV-2. Since CoVs have the largest genome among all RNA viruses, they can adapt many point mutation and recombination events; particularly in spike gene, that enable these viruses to rapidly change and evolve in nature. CoVs are known to cross the species boundaries by using different cellular receptors. SARS-CoV-2 is believed to originate in bats and transmitted to human being through an ill-defined intermediate host. In the current review, different aspects of SARS-CoV-2 biology and pathogenicity are discussed including virus genetics and evolution, spike protein and its role in evolution and adaptation to novel hosts, and virus transmission and persistence in nature. In addition, the immune response developed during SARS-CoV-2 infection is demonstrated with special reference to the interplay between immune cells and their role in disease progression. We believe that SARS-CoV-2 outbreak will not be the last and spillover of CoVs from bats will continue. Therefore, establishing intervention approaches to reduce the likelihood of future CoVs spillover from the natural reservoirs is a priority.

Keywords

Coronavirus; COVID-19; cross-species transmission; evolution; immune response; SARS-CoV-2

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