ISSN: 0973-7510

E-ISSN: 2581-690X

Research Article | Open Access
Sarmad Ahmad Qamar1, Kanta Basharat2, Muhammad Bilal3 and Hafiz M.N. Iqbal4
1Department of Biochemistry, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
2Department of Microbiology, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
3School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huaian – 223 003, China.
4Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Engineering and Sciences, Monterrey, 64849, Mexico.
J Pure Appl Microbiol. 2020;14(3):1695-1703 | Article Number: 6549
https://doi.org/10.22207/JPAM.14.3.08 | © The Author(s). 2020
Received: 19/07/2020 | Accepted: 31/08/2020 | Published: 12/09/2020
Abstract

An acute respiratory disease (SARS-CoV-2, also recognized as COVID-19/2019-nCoV), caused by nCoV created a worldwide emergency. The World Health Organization declared the SARS-CoV-2 as epidemic of international concern on January 2020. After SARS-CoV in 2002 and MERS-CoV in 2012, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 is marked as third highly pathogenic coronavirus of 21st century. Till now, various researches have been conducted, highlighting SARS-CoV-2 as β-coronavirus with high phylogenetic and genomic similarity with bat-CoV, indicating bats as natural reservoir of coronaviruses. It has also been confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 uses the same (ACE2) receptor for host cellular entry as of SARS-CoV, and primarily spread through respiratory pathway. Evidences shows continuous human-to-human viral transfer, with numerous worldwide exported cases. Currently, there is no specific approved drug available for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, but various anti-parasitic and anti-viral drugs are being investigated. In this review, we have described several possible therapeutic modalities for SARS-CoV-2 infection based on (i) host protease inhibitors to block viral entry into the cell; (ii) gene silencing using siRNA-based RNAi and (iii) type I interferons (IFN1)-based therapeutics have been discussed in detail. Background knowledge on these strategies highlight them as potential therapeutic targets, which could be evaluated on urgent basis to combat COVID-19 epidemic.

Keywords

SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, Origin, Therapeutics, protease inhibitors, gene silencing (siRNA), interferons type I (IFN-1)

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