About this Research Topic
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, has spread rapidly throughout the world. On 11th March, 2020, it was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection may lead to pneumonia, kidney failure and death. Lacking an efficacious vaccine or suitable therapeutic drugs, the global population has been hit hard. Thus, the scientific community around the globe is working urgently to ramp up research and development to identify new antiviral treatments and vaccines, while gathering data on the genetic variability of SARS-CoV-2.
The main goal of this research topic is to advance our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and its genome, and use this to develop treatments and design vaccines. Metagenomic analysis using Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) reveals that SARS-CoV-2 is a single-stranded enveloped RNA virus with a genome ranging from 27 to 32 kilobases. The strain of this virus is novel, and our understanding of the genetic variability of this virus in different parts of the world is still very limited, especially the coding region of the Open Reading Frame (ORF). Generally, mutations occurs when an error is incorporated into a viral genome. Consequently, resultant mutated strains may cause new outbreaks in human hosts, as is the case with SARS-CoV-2. Given this, we would like to present a comprehensive collection on the different aspects of SARS-CoV-2, including its evolution, genetic variability, virus-host proteins interactions, drug re-purposing, peptidomimetics, non-covalent and covalent inhibitors, and vaccine design and development. To this end, large scale analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes is required so that the scientific community can benefit and solutions can be found to halt the pandemic.
We would like to invite the researchers to contribute related to the following points but not limited to
• studies related to the evolution of SARS-CoV-2;
• methods to identify genetic variability;
• polymorphism of SARS-CoV-2 e.g. SNPs;
• structural and functional analyses of SARS-CoV-2 proteins and RNA;
• identification of protein-protein interactions of virus and human host;
• discovery and characterization of novel non-coding RNAs of SARS-CoV-2;
• computational identification and validation of SARS-CoV-2 molecular targets;
• drug re-purposing and the discovery of new inhibitors and drugs, against key SARS-CoV-2 targets;
• identification of human metabolic pathways affected by SARS-CoV-2 as side effects;
• affordable, portable rapid diagnostic kits and tools
• databases and resources related to SARS-CoV-2;
• epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 as well as in comparison with other respiratory viral infections;
• discovery of immunogenic and antigenic epitopes for vaccine design;
• personalized treatment and vaccine development for SARS-CoV-2
Keywords: Drug Repurposing, Genetic Variability, Polymorphism, SARS-CoV-2, Vaccine Design, Drug Discovery
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