Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): current status and future perspectives

Heng Li, Shang-Ming Liu, Xiao-Hua Yu, Shi-Lin Tang, Chao-Ke Tang
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 2020, 55 (5): 105951
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) originated in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, Central China, and has spread quickly to 72 countries to date. COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) [previously provisionally known as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)]. At present, the newly identified SARS-CoV-2 has caused a large number of deaths with tens of thousands of confirmed cases worldwide, posing a serious threat to public health. However, there are no clinically approved vaccines or specific therapeutic drugs available for COVID-19. Intensive research on the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 is urgently needed to elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms and epidemiological characteristics and to identify potential drug targets, which will contribute to the development of effective prevention and treatment strategies. Hence, this review will focus on recent progress regarding the structure of SARS-CoV-2 and the characteristics of COVID-19, such as the aetiology, pathogenesis and epidemiological characteristics.

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