REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0432.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Immunology And Allergy Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Infectious disease; Pandemics; Epidemics; Biomedical Research
Online: 19 February 2021 (10:03:47 CET)
It is known for decades that viruses from the Coronoviridae family can adapt to human-to-human transmission. In 2020, SARS-CoV-2 caused a global pandemic of unprecedented scale imposing the loss of millions of human lives and being at the heart of a global economic crisis. Thus, we overviewed key research advances generated from the identification of the etiological agent to a better understanding of its origin, evolution and factors underlying global spread. Furthermore, we analyze the scientific productivity using the PubMed database. We found that the total number of publications increased more than 8% in 2020 when compared with 2019 or the average publications per year in the previous quinquennial. Remarkably, 86,638 publications related with COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 were published in 2020. Furthermore, there was also an increase in 2020 of publications in other major infectious diseases, such as AIDS, tuberculosis, or malaria. This success is likely the result from the vigorous, international, collaborative, and multidisciplinary response by the research community. During 2020 it was demonstrated, that with adequate support, it is possible to boost the rate of scientific progress in infectious diseases. Sustained investment in science will be key to address existing and future pandemics as the human population increases.