The spread of Coronavirus between People
There are some special characters of Coronavirus which make it more spreading than SARS. The total number of infected people is increasing day by day in the World.
Scientists are working on identifying the reasons that Why does the coronavirus spread so easily between people? Corona is an old known family of viruses and this new deadly strain named COVID-19.
The most important thing is the mode of entry of pathogen in the host tissue which needs to investigate. The receptors on the cell membrane are necessary for the entry of pathogens.
Viral proteins and targeted receptors are major sources to target for drug development. Scientists are working day and night to develop a vaccine as soon as possible to save humanity from this deadly pathogen.
This virus is more spreading as compared to the previously known SARS virus which is also from the Corona family and causes respiratory syndrome. COVID-19 is infecting more people than SARS.
Coronavirus uses specialized proteins just like a spike to bind at the host membrane and initiated by the enzymes of the host cell. The analysis proved that the spike proteins of this coronavirus are different from the previously known members of this family.
The spikes have special sites that are activated by the enzyme Furin from the host cell. A structural biologist Li Hua of Huazhong University from Wuhan, China, said that Corona can infect multiple tissues.
The Furin enzyme is present in the Liver, Lungs, and the cells of the intestine. The findings supported the Li Hua as some patients shown Liver failure at Wuhan, posted on ChinaXiv preprint server. The previous viruses of this family including SARS don’t have Furin-activated sites.
Gary Whittaker and his team explained the structural analysis of this virus on bioRxiv. He also said that Furin activated site makes the COVID-19 different from SARS in terms of the mode of entry and stability. He is a virologist of New York at Cornell University.
Many other researchers also talk about this reason for more spread of the pathogen. This hypothesis supported by the results of previous studies. These sites are present in some strains of the influenza virus which also spread easily and quickly.
Jason McLellan said that it may or may not a big deal and published it in Science. He is also a structural biologist at the University of Texas. Some other researchers are also cautious about the role of the active sites in spreading the pathogen.
Peter White explained that the viruses of flu have Haemagglutinin which is not similar to the spikes of the corona. As some researchers are comparing their features. He is also a virologist from Australia at the University of New South Wales.
Even the most deadly strain of flu virus which caused a pandemic in Spain doesn’t have Furin activated site, said Lijun Rong. He is a virologist from Chicago (University of Illinois).
The role and function of activation sites should be focused, said Whittaker, and needed to test in host cells. They are currently working on it.
The team of Li is also working on the blocking of Furin and hopeful for finding the treatment. The epidemic results in the slowing of studies due to lockdown conditions.
This epidemic has focused the researchers towards the quick and efficient development of a drug to save humanity. There is also a need for vaccine development for the prevention of future risks. But more need to develop effective drugs to control the situation.
Different researchers have different points of view but the goal is the same. Another study of McLellan’s group in Texas has shown another feature of this coronavirus which makes it more spreading. Their results are showing that the spike protein of corona binds at angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) of the host cell.
This bonding is ten times more powerful as compared to the bonding of the SARS virus. This is also a reason for its more and quickly spread.
ACE2 receptor and spike proteins have an affinity for each other so ACE2 can also be used as a drug target, said Veesler’s team. Any drug which can block the ACE2 receptor could be helpful in preventing the entry of the virus.