About this Research Topic
Coronaviruses cause respiratory and intestinal tract infections in humans and other animals with a spectrum of diseases symptoms ranging from mild to lethal. Seven human pathogenic coronaviruses have been identified, with some seasonal coronaviruses responsible for some cases of the common cold, while SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 cause more severe diseases. SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic, causing significant infections and deaths worldwide. To date, there is no effective treatment and/or vaccine approved for treating COVID-19. Studying the structure and function of coronaviruses with respect to immunology is important for designing effective drugs, vaccines and immunodiagnostic tools. More specifically, studying the structural and functional aspects of key viral proteins including the spikes, nucleoprotein, and proteases is necessary to fully understand virus attachment, cell entry, virus replication, virus maturation and immune responses to the viruses.
Coronaviruses are emerging pathogens affecting the entire world irrespective of race, color, age, and gender. To date, SARS-CoV-2 has caused more than 18 million cases and 700,000 deaths worldwide. The pandemic has created significant social, economic, and political crises. The reason why COVID-19 becomes an uncontrolled pandemic is the lack of effective drugs and vaccines to control the virus. Genetic variability and immunopathology are amongst the challenges in treating coronaviruses. The development of effective antiviral drugs and vaccines with long-lasting immunogenicity is required for tackling the problem. Recent studies focusing on the structure-function aspects of coronavirus structural proteins, nucleic acids and enzymes are of significant value to confront the problem as this will help design improved antiviral drugs, vaccines and diagnostic methods through providing novel mechanistic information about attachment, penetration, replication/infection, immunopathology and assembly of the coronavirus life cycle.
The main scope of this Research Topic is broad spanning over the structural immunology of coronaviruses. Although the main scope is structural immunology, research articles reporting on the structure and function of the whole virion and structural components and their interactions with hosts including, but not limited to, spikes, nucleoprotein, nucleic acid, and enzymes are acceptable. Recent advances in the structure and mechanisms of antibodies (immune responses), drugs, and vaccines targeting coronaviruses and/or their components are also welcomed.
This Research Topic accepts a variety of manuscript types including original researches, methods, reviews, mini-reviews, perspectives, hypotheses and theory, case reports, letters to the editor, brief research reports, commentaries, opinions, editorials, and technology and codes.
Keywords: Structural Immunology, Structural Virology, Drug Design, Immunopathology, Vaccine, Coronaviruses, SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV
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