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Review

SARS-CoV-2: An Overview of Virus Genetics, Transmission, and Immunopathogenesis

1
Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza 12211, Egypt
3
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Majmaah University, Majmaah 11952, Saudi Arabia
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Otolaryngology Department, College of Medicine, Majmaah University, Majmaah 11952, Saudi Arabia
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Research Center, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh 11525, Saudi Arabia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126312
Received: 20 April 2021 / Revised: 27 May 2021 / Accepted: 4 June 2021 / Published: 10 June 2021
The human population is currently facing the third and possibly the worst pandemic caused by human coronaviruses (CoVs). The virus was first reported in Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019 and spread within a short time to almost all countries of the world. Genome analysis of the early virus isolates has revealed high similarity with SARS-CoV and hence the new virus was officially named SARS-CoV-2. Since CoVs have the largest genome among all RNA viruses, they can adapt to many point mutation and recombination events; particularly in the spike gene, which enable these viruses to rapidly change and evolve in nature. CoVs are known to cross the species boundaries by using different cellular receptors. Both animal reservoir and intermediate host for SARS-CoV-2 are still unresolved and necessitate further investigation. In the current review, different aspects of SARS-CoV-2 biology and pathogenicity are discussed, including virus genetics and evolution, spike protein and its role in evolution and adaptation to novel hosts, and virus transmission and persistence in nature. In addition, the immune response developed during SARS-CoV-2 infection is demonstrated with special reference to the interplay between immune cells and their role in disease progression. We believe that the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak will not be the last and spillover of CoVs from bats will continue. Therefore, establishing intervention approaches to reduce the likelihood of future CoVs spillover from natural reservoirs is a priority. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; cross-species transmission; evolution; immune response; SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus; COVID-19; cross-species transmission; evolution; immune response; SARS-CoV-2
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MDPI and ACS Style

Farrag, M.A.; Amer, H.M.; Bhat, R.; Hamed, M.E.; Aziz, I.M.; Mubarak, A.; Dawoud, T.M.; Almalki, S.G.; Alghofaili, F.; Alnemare, A.K.; Al-Baradi, R.S.; Alosaimi, B.; Alturaiki, W. SARS-CoV-2: An Overview of Virus Genetics, Transmission, and Immunopathogenesis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 6312. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126312

AMA Style

Farrag MA, Amer HM, Bhat R, Hamed ME, Aziz IM, Mubarak A, Dawoud TM, Almalki SG, Alghofaili F, Alnemare AK, Al-Baradi RS, Alosaimi B, Alturaiki W. SARS-CoV-2: An Overview of Virus Genetics, Transmission, and Immunopathogenesis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(12):6312. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126312

Chicago/Turabian Style

Farrag, Mohamed A.; Amer, Haitham M.; Bhat, Rauf; Hamed, Maaweya E.; Aziz, Ibrahim M.; Mubarak, Ayman; Dawoud, Turki M.; Almalki, Sami G.; Alghofaili, Fayez; Alnemare, Ahmad K.; Al-Baradi, Raid S.; Alosaimi, Bandar; Alturaiki, Wael. 2021. "SARS-CoV-2: An Overview of Virus Genetics, Transmission, and Immunopathogenesis" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 12: 6312. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126312

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