About this Research Topic
Coronaviruses are a group of enveloped, positive sense RNA viruses known to infect humans and animals. These viruses generally cause mild respiratory and intestinal infections in healthy individuals but can lead to severe cases in immune-compromised individuals. Coronaviruses were not considered to be highly pathogenic until the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in China and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia in 2002 and 2012 respectively where the viral infection led to substantial mortalities among the infected individuals. The recent outbreak of novel SARS-CoV-2 has highlighted the severe risk of disease (COVID-19) to human health and further attests to the pathogenicity and lethality of these viruses. Existing scientific data from the ongoing pandemic suggests that mortality caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus has already surpassed the combined mortality caused by both SARS and MERS coronaviruses.
Since SARS-CoV-2 has emerged recently, there are very few studies describing the pathogenesis and replication cycle of this virus. Initial studies on SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences reveal its close ancestry with SARS coronavirus. Hence insights obtained from various studies on SARS coronaviruses can be leveraged to understand the possible pathogenesis of newly emerged SARS-CoV-2. However, it will be interesting to study the factors that contribute towards the infectivity and pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 as well as to comprehensively understand host response to both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS coronavirus.
As the virus is gripping the world with every passing day, scientists from around the world are racing against time to develop vaccines and antivirals to combat SARS-CoV-2. Hence, there is an urgent need to generate and disseminate information related to SARS-CoV-2 to help the scientific community understand the pathogenesis of this virus as well as identify novel cellular pathways that can be targeted to inhibit the infection of the virus.
The Guest Editors of this Research Topic welcome Original Research articles, Perspectives, Methods, and Reviews, and aim to assemble a collection of articles highlighting, but not limited to:
• Origin and evolution of SARS-CoV-2
• Virus entry and cellular signaling
• Cross-talk between the SARS-CoV-2 and its host
• Host Immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infections within this context
• Development of medical countermeasures against SARS-CoV-2 within this context
This will favor a better understanding of these aspects, thereby enabling the development of novel therapies and better management of the disease.
Keywords: Coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, Virus-Host Interactions, Innate Immunity, Non-coding RNAs, viral pathogenesis
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