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SARS-CoV-2: Why is this coronavirus potent?

SARS-CoV-2: Why is this coronavirus potent?

Why is SARS-CoV-2 more potent than other coronaviruses?

Of the 7 coronaviruses known to infect humans, only 3 of them, SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV cause severe disease in humans. SARS-CoV-2 infections spread rapidly and are more fatal. What is the difference between them?

  1. Affinity of RBD for ACE2: The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 has a higher affinity for ACE2 than the RBDs from other coronaviruses. The higher the affinity, the more its ability to infect cells.  Higher affinity may be because of a mutation in the RBD(1).
  2. Polybasic furin cleavage site:  In SARS-CoV-1, an additional polybasic cleavage site is found at the junction of S1 and S2 which allows effective cleavage by furin. This might have an impact on its transmissibility &  pathogenesis(1).
  3. Cytokine Profile: Cytokine profiles are often perturbed during viral infections.  In individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection, the level of inflammatory cytokines was significantly higher than normal.  In addition, there was significant correlation between cytokine levels and severity of the disease(2).  The severe cytokine storm is reflected in the severity of the symptoms.  Find out which cytokines were affected.

OriGene has launched a comprehensive SARS-CoV-2 Tool Set to investigate the SARS-CoV-2-Human cells interaction.  Learn more.



Also for you ♥

1.  The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2, Andersen et al, Nature Medicine, 2020
2.  A Review of Coronavirus Disease-2019, Tanu Singhal, Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 87, 281-286 (2020)