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Cytokine Growth Factor Rev ; 58: 16-29, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-950779


Infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) results in diverse outcomes. The symptoms appear to be more severe in males older than 65 and people with underlying health conditions; approximately one in five individuals could be at risk worldwide. The virus's sequence was rapidly established days after the first cases were reported and identified an RNA virus from the Coronaviridae family closely related to a Betacoronavirus virus found in bats in China. SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans, and with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), the only ones to cause severe diseases. Lessons from these two previous outbreaks guided the identification of critical therapeutic targets such as the spike viral proteins promoting the virus's cellular entry through the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor expressed on the surface of multiple types of eukaryotic cells. Although several therapeutic agents are currently evaluated, none seems to provide a clear path for a cure. Also, various types of vaccines are developed in record time to address the urgency of efficient SARS-CoV-2 prevention. Currently, 58 vaccines are evaluated in clinical trials, including 11 in phase III, and 3 of them reported efficacy above 90 %. The results so far from the clinical trials suggest the availability of multiple effective vaccines within months.

Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Molecular Targeted Therapy/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Antiviral Agents/isolation & purification , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/immunology , Drug Development/methods , Genome, Viral/physiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viral Vaccines/therapeutic use