Special Issue "SARS-CoV Infections"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This special issue belongs to the section "Human Pathogens".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 October 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Lisa Gralinski
Website
Guest Editor
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Interests: Dr. Gralinski's research focuses on the role of host genetic variation in contributing to the severity of respiratory virus infection, including SARS-CoV and Influenza virus.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

SARS Coronavirus (CoV) caused the first epidemic of the 21st century. The zoonotic emergence of SARS-CoV highlights the risk of rapid global spread of a highly infectious, novel pathogen. Disease ranged from mild respiratory symptoms to development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and death; ultimately the virus infected over 8,000 people with a 10% mortality rate. While SARS-CoV was contained by effective public health measures, a number of highly related zoonotic viruses have been found in bats that are fully capable of infecting human cells.

In the 16 years since SARS-CoV was identified, much has been learned about its emergence, replication and resulting disease. Several reverse genetics systems have allowed for investigation of the role of viral genes in both in vitro and in vivo infections while development of small animal models has allowed examination of the role of the host immune response following infection. Recent advances in structural biology have provided critical insights into how the viral spike protein binds to its cellular receptor, Ace2.

We would like to invite you to contribute to a Special Issue on SARS-CoV Infection. In this Special Issue we welcome the coronavirus community to submit a research article, review or short communication focused on SARS-CoV emergence, replication, disease pathogenesis and protection, host immune response modulation, structural insights or anti-viral therapeutics.

We look forward to your contribution.

Dr. Lisa Gralinski
Guest Editor

Circulating bat viruses and emerging coronaviruses, recent structure advances, reverse genetics systems, immune mediated disease, 1st epidemic of 21st century

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com 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. Pathogens is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1500 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.

Keywords

  • coronavirus
  • SARS-CoV
  • respiratory virus
  • viral pathogenesis
  • immune response
  • zoonosis

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Diversity Among SARS-CoV2 Strains in South America may Impact Performance of Molecular Detection
Pathogens 2020, 9(7), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070580 - 17 Jul 2020
Abstract
Since its emergence in Wuhan (China) on December 2019, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread worldwide. After its arrival in South America in February 2020, the virus has expanded throughout the region, infecting over 900,000 individuals with approximately [...] Read more.
Since its emergence in Wuhan (China) on December 2019, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread worldwide. After its arrival in South America in February 2020, the virus has expanded throughout the region, infecting over 900,000 individuals with approximately 41,000 reported deaths to date. In response to the rapidly growing number of cases, a number of different primer-probe sets have been developed. However, despite being highly specific, most of these primer-probe sets are known to exhibit variable sensitivity. Currently, there are more than 300 SARS-CoV2 whole genome sequences deposited in databases from Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, and Argentina. To test how regional viral diversity may impact oligo binding sites and affect test performance, we reviewed all available primer-probe sets targeting the E, N, and RdRp genes against available South American SARS-CoV-2 genomes checking for nucleotide variations in annealing sites. Results from this in silico analysis showed no nucleotide variations on the E-gene target region, in contrast to the N and RdRp genes which showed massive nucleotide variations within oligo binding sites. In lines with previous data, our results suggest that the E-gene stands as the most conserved and reliable target when considering single-gene target testing for molecular diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in South America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Mutational Frequencies of SARS-CoV-2 Genome during the Beginning Months of the Outbreak in USA
Pathogens 2020, 9(7), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070565 - 13 Jul 2020
Abstract
SARS-CoV-2 has spread very quickly from its first reported case on 19 January 2020 in the United Stated of America, leading WHO to declare pandemic by 11 March 2020. RNA viruses accumulate mutations following replication and passage in human population, which prompted us [...] Read more.
SARS-CoV-2 has spread very quickly from its first reported case on 19 January 2020 in the United Stated of America, leading WHO to declare pandemic by 11 March 2020. RNA viruses accumulate mutations following replication and passage in human population, which prompted us to determine the rate and the regions (hotspots) of the viral genome with high rates of mutation. We analyzed the rate of mutation accumulation over a period of 11 weeks (submitted between 19th January to 15 April 2020) in USA SARS-CoV-2 genome. Our analysis identified that majority of the viral genes accumulated mutations, although with varying rates and these included NSP2, NSP3, RdRp, helicase, Spike, ORF3a, ORF8, and Nucleocapsid protein. Sixteen mutations accumulated in Spike protein in which four mutations are located in the receptor binding domain. Intriguingly, we identified a fair number of viral proteins (NSP7, NSP9, NSP10, NSP11, Envelop, ORF6, and ORF7b proteins), which did not accumulate any mutation. Limited changes in these proteins may suggest that they have conserved functions, which are essential for virus propagation. This provides a basis for a better understanding of the genetic variation in SARS-CoV-2 circulating in the US, which could help in identifying potential therapeutic targets for controlling COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV Infections)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
SARS-CoV-2, ACE2, and Hydroxychloroquine: Cardiovascular Complications, Therapeutics, and Clinical Readouts in the Current Settings
Pathogens 2020, 9(7), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070546 - 07 Jul 2020
Abstract
The rapidly evolving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2- SARS-CoV-2), has greatly burdened the global healthcare system and led it into crisis in several countries. Lack of targeted therapeutics led to the idea of repurposing broad-spectrum drugs [...] Read more.
The rapidly evolving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2- SARS-CoV-2), has greatly burdened the global healthcare system and led it into crisis in several countries. Lack of targeted therapeutics led to the idea of repurposing broad-spectrum drugs for viral intervention. In vitro analyses of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)’s anecdotal benefits prompted its widespread clinical repurposing globally. Reports of emerging cardiovascular complications due to its clinical prescription are revealing the crucial role of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which serves as a target receptor for SARS-CoV-2. In the present settings, a clear understanding of these targets, their functional aspects and physiological impact on cardiovascular function are critical. In an up-to-date format, we shed light on HCQ’s anecdotal function in stalling SARS-CoV-2 replication and immunomodulatory activities. While starting with the crucial role of ACE2, we here discuss the impact of HCQ on systemic cardiovascular function, its associated risks, and the scope of HCQ-based regimes in current clinical settings. Citing the extent of HCQ efficacy, the key considerations and recommendations for the use of HCQ in clinics are further discussed. Taken together, this review provides crucial insights into the role of ACE2 in SARS-CoV-2-led cardiovascular activity, and concurrently assesses the efficacy of HCQ in contemporary clinical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV Infections)
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Open AccessReview
Coronavirus Disease Pandemic (COVID-19): Challenges and a Global Perspective
Pathogens 2020, 9(7), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070519 - 28 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The technology-driven world of the 21st century is currently confronted with a major threat to humankind, represented by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome, coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of now, COVID-19 has affected more than 6 million [...] Read more.
The technology-driven world of the 21st century is currently confronted with a major threat to humankind, represented by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome, coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of now, COVID-19 has affected more than 6 million confirmed cases and took 0.39 million human lives. SARS-CoV-2 spreads much faster than its two ancestors, SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome-CoV (MERS-CoV), but has low fatality rates. Our analyses speculate that the efficient replication and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 might be due to the high-density basic amino acid residues, preferably positioned in close proximity at both the furin-like cleavage sites (S1/S2 and S2’) within the spike protein. Given the high genomic similarities of SARS-CoV-2 to bat SARS-like CoVs, it is likely that bats serve as a reservoir host for its progenitor. Women and children are less susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, while the elderly and people with comorbidities are more prone to serious clinical outcomes, which may be associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and cytokine storm. The cohesive approach amongst researchers across the globe has delivered high-end viral diagnostics. However, home-based point-of-care diagnostics are still under development, which may prove transformative in current COVID-19 pandemic containment. Similarly, vaccines and therapeutics against COVID-19 are currently in the pipeline for clinical trials. In this review, we discuss the noteworthy advancements, focusing on the etiological viral agent, comparative genomic analysis, population susceptibility, disease epidemiology and diagnosis, animal reservoirs, laboratory animal models, disease transmission, therapeutics, vaccine challenges, and disease mitigation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV Infections)
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Open AccessReview
Emerging Prevention and Treatment Strategies to Control COVID-19
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060501 - 23 Jun 2020
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has now become a serious global threat after inflicting more than 8 million infections and 425,000 deaths in less than 6 months. Currently, no definitive treatment or prevention [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has now become a serious global threat after inflicting more than 8 million infections and 425,000 deaths in less than 6 months. Currently, no definitive treatment or prevention therapy exists for COVID-19. The unprecedented rise of this pandemic has rapidly fueled research efforts to discover and develop new vaccines and treatment strategies against this novel coronavirus. While hundreds of vaccines/therapeutics are still in the preclinical or early stage of clinical development, a few of them have shown promising results in controlling the infection. Here, in this review, we discuss the promising vaccines and treatment options for COVID-19, their challenges, and potential alternative strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV Infections)
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Open AccessReview
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19): A Short Review on Hematological Manifestations
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 493; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060493 - 20 Jun 2020
Abstract
Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV–2) is a rapidly spreading and devastating global pandemic. Many researchers are attempting to clarify the mechanisms of infection and to develop a drug or vaccine against the virus, but there are still no proven [...] Read more.
Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV–2) is a rapidly spreading and devastating global pandemic. Many researchers are attempting to clarify the mechanisms of infection and to develop a drug or vaccine against the virus, but there are still no proven effective treatments. The present article reviews the common presenting hematological manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19). Elucidating the changes in hematological parameters in SARS–CoV–2 infected patients could help to understand the pathophysiology of the disease and may provide early clues to diagnosis. Several studies have shown that hematological parameters are markers of disease severity and suggest that they mediate disease progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV Infections)
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Open AccessReview
A Review on SARS-CoV-2 Virology, Pathophysiology, Animal Models, and Anti-Viral Interventions
Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060426 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of CoV disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly pathogenic and transmissible CoV that is presently plaguing the global human population and economy. No proven effective antiviral therapy or vaccine currently exists, and supportive [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of CoV disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly pathogenic and transmissible CoV that is presently plaguing the global human population and economy. No proven effective antiviral therapy or vaccine currently exists, and supportive care remains to be the cornerstone treatment. Through previous lessons learned from SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV studies, scientific groups worldwide have rapidly expanded the knowledge pertaining to SARS-CoV-2 virology that includes in vitro and in vivo models for testing of antiviral therapies and randomized clinical trials. In the present narrative, we review SARS-CoV-2 virology, clinical features, pathophysiology, and animal models with a specific focus on the antiviral and adjunctive therapies currently being tested or that require testing in animal models and randomized clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV Infections)
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Open AccessReview
SARS-CoV-2 and Coronavirus Disease 2019: What We Know So Far
Pathogens 2020, 9(3), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9030231 - 20 Mar 2020
Cited by 35
Abstract
In December 2019, a cluster of fatal pneumonia cases presented in Wuhan, China. They were caused by a previously unknown coronavirus. All patients had been associated with the Wuhan Wholefood market, where seafood and live animals are sold. The virus spread rapidly and [...] Read more.
In December 2019, a cluster of fatal pneumonia cases presented in Wuhan, China. They were caused by a previously unknown coronavirus. All patients had been associated with the Wuhan Wholefood market, where seafood and live animals are sold. The virus spread rapidly and public health authorities in China initiated a containment effort. However, by that time, travelers had carried the virus to many countries, sparking memories of the previous coronavirus epidemics, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and causing widespread media attention and panic. Based on clinical criteria and available serological and molecular information, the new disease was called coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19), and the novel coronavirus was called SARS Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), emphasizing its close relationship to the 2002 SARS virus (SARS-CoV). The scientific community raced to uncover the origin of the virus, understand the pathogenesis of the disease, develop treatment options, define the risk factors, and work on vaccine development. Here we present a summary of current knowledge regarding the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue SARS-CoV Infections)
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