We are grasped by an extremely precarious situation at the moment where Coronavirus or its deadliest form COVID-19 has brought us to a standstill. The disease has brought all the countries into lockdown. No one would have thought that we would come to a point like this where we would have to stay at our homes when we could not meet friends, we would be away from each other and would be in danger by coming close to each other.
1. CORONAVIRUS: AN INTRODUCTION
Coronavirus belongs to the family of viruses known as beta coronaviruses which can lead to a person suffering from something as normal as the common cold to the deadlier and more dangerous diseases like the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
2. COVID-19: WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?
2019 has brought into light the recently discovered coronavirus disease COVID-19. The disease was first discovered in Wuhan in China from where it has spread globally, making the epidemic a pandemic. COVID-19 is the disease that is caused by the virus known as SARS2 coronavirus, belonging to the family of beta coronaviruses that are usually present in animals and in unique instances like this are transmitted to humans. The disease spreads quickly, which has prompted the World Health Organization to declare it as a global health emergency. SARS2 also known as SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus belongs to the family of coronavirus that is usually found in bats and is likely to have transmitted from there.
3. SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19
The symptoms of COVID-19 are seemingly very common and develop over 14-21 days.
The symptoms that one can face are as follows:
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Respiratory problems
While the disease is extremely contagious, most people near about 80%, according to the World Health Organization have recovered from the disease. Also, the further spread of the disease can be stopped by practicing social distance and following precautions like washing hands regularly, avoiding unnecessary travel, etc.
The global scenario at the moment is quite tense with no definitive answer to this very serious predicament of COVID-19.
4. RESPONSE TO THE DEADLY COVID-19
However, while everything seems gloomy there have been significant developments that have shown positive results. They are as follows:
1. Recombinant Antigens Reagents
Let us break these words to completely understand Recombinant Antigens reagents.
Recombinant antigens can be defined as varied types of protein combined to formulate molecule and/ or molecules aimed at triggering or awakening the immune system. Depending upon the types of proteins that are included in the antigen, the antigen would lead to the formation of various antibodies. And a reagent is essentially a substance or compound that is added to a system to stimulate a chemical reaction. It allows medicine experts to analyze, detect, measure and tweak things if they are wrong.
These functions rendered by them makes them extremely serviceable in medicine for treating diseases and develop long-term resistance. They prompt the body to produce different types of antibodies such as vaccines, which help in developing a fighting mechanism according to their recombinant structure.
To develop a long-term resistance to a disease, the recombinant antigen must provoke a proper immune response strong enough to provide a safety net for a lifetime against any such diseases in the future.
There has been a spike in research and development of recombinant coronavirus antigen reagents in order to develop resistance against the easily contractable COVID-19. While research has shown some optimistic results, we have a long way to go.
2. Recombinant Coronavirus antigens
The newly discovered coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV) which causes the deadly COVID-19 is already infecting more and more people every day. The virus belongs to the Beta coronavirus Genus, to which the SARS CoV and MERS CoV also belong. The genome of the virus, like all other coronaviruses, includes the following coronavirus proteins like the:
- Spike protein,
- Envelope protein,
- Membrane protein and
- Nucleocapsid protein
The COVID-19 proteins act in the following manner:
- SPIKE PROTEIN: What it does are receptor binding and membrane fusion. The protein has two subunits- S1 and S2 performing the functions of receptor binding with the cell surface and membrane fusion respectively. Research has brought out that the SARS-CoV-2 (2019-nCoV) can attack the human respiratory system through the epithelial cells by way of interacting with the human receptor- ACE2.
- NUCLEOCAPSID PROTEIN: This protein is found in abundance in the coronavirus. It is said to be a highly immunogenic phosphoprotein.
3. Recombinant 2019 nCoV
Moving forth, through medical research and developments, reagents, antibodies, antigen detection kits and recombinant antigens, etc. have been developed to develop vaccines, develop resistance and strengthen the immune system. These include the:
- Recombinant 2019 nCoV N protein,
- Recombinant 2019 nCoV S protein,
- Its subunits:
- S1 and
- S2, etc.
4. COVID-19 antigens
Also, COVID-19 antigens have been developed from the strain that emerged in Wuhan. These COVID-19 antigens have in them recombinant proteins that act as reagents allowing and facilitating research on infectious and deadly diseases for scientists and aid them in developing a more accurate and reliable diagnosis, treatment and vaccines.
These times are definitely tough and are taking a toll on all of us. But for the sake of humanity and good health of the entire human race, we have to stay strong, shunt out misinformation, not panic and follow the precautions and statutory guidelines issued by organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the government of our country. Social distancing is the only effective method available to us at this point and thus, must be practiced judiciously and should not be ignored and broken for unnecessary and irrelevant travel. One should wash hands regularly with soap to prevent the spread of infection and one should avoid touching one’s face, nose and mouth.
To sum up, we cannot be irresponsible because a single decision can affect many people, putting many people at risk. https://www.genemedi.net/