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Special Issue "Targeting Coronavirus Diseases by Synthetic Chemical Entities and Natural Products"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

New and emerging respiratory viral diseases continue to be a global challenge to human society. The seasonal flu epidemics due to influenza (A and B) viruses and the ever-evolving nature of these viruses through antigenic drift and antigenic shift have made it difficult to formulate therapeutic options. Epidemics such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza, and the even more devastating Spanish flu of 1918 (by influenza A H1N1), are classic examples of the devastating power of respiratory viral infections. While other viral diseases such as Ebola and HIV were new additions to our long list of viral nemeses in the last 50 years, coronaviruses have emerged as global epidemics of respiratory diseases in the 21st century. The severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARS-CoV) pandemic of 2002/3, the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012, and the now SARS-CoV-2 pandemic that causes COVID-19, are good examples of important respiratory coronavirus. Sadly, our preparedness for such emerging viral diseases has never been sufficient, and our best approach in the 21st century is no different from the previous ones—social distancing and continuous hand washing appear to be our best measures of infection control for COVID-19. The repurposing of old drugs without a clear therapeutic evidence of efficacy is also being tried. These include the old antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, anti-inflammatory agents, and antiviral agents against Ebola and AIDS or other coronaviruses. Current research on SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanisms including the processing of the viral spike (S) proteins, their binding with host cell receptors such angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, other viral entry mechanisms including endosomes, and intracellular replication machineries are intensely investigated. The identification of molecules of either synthetic and natural origins, or those repurposed drug entities that specifically target the viral replication cycle and/or the COVID-19 pathology is critically important at this stage. In the latter case, potentially active compounds that target the very late stage of the disease such as exaggerated inflammation-associated pneumonia and organ failure also need to be identified. Against this background, the current SI “Targeting Coronavirus Diseases by Synthetic Chemical Entities and Natural Products" will focus on the following:

  • Large (carbohydrates, fats, proteins, enzymes, antibodies, fibers, etc.) and small molecular weight synthetic or natural products that target entry of coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 into host cells;
  • Agents that act on selective coronavirus targets either on the virus or on host cells during the infection cycle;
  • Molecules that act on any unique target of the COVID-19 pathology or other coronavirus diseases;
  • Crude plant or animal extracts, with a sufficient level of characterization, that show promise against coronavirus diseases under any experimental setting;
  • Experimental designs and protocols that aid research in the field.

We welcome contributions in the form of original research, review articles and critical commentaries covering any aspect of the above topics in chemistry, pathology, and pharmacology (in vitro and in vivo) fields.

Prof. Dr. Solomon Habtemariam
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • coronavirus
  • SARS-CoV
  • MERS-CoV
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • COVID-19
  • viral pandemic
  • antiviral agents

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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