COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus 2019) – recent trends

Kannan, P. Shaik Syed Ali, A. Sheeza, K. Hemalatha

School of Medicine, The Maldives National University, Male’, Maldives.



The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning that, although the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from Wuhan City (China), is not pandemic, it should be contained to prevent the global spread. The COVID-19 virus was known earlier as 2019-nCoV. As of 12 February 2020, WHO reported 45,171 cases and 1115 deaths related to COVID-19. COVID-19 is similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) virus in its pathogenicity, clinical spectrum, and epidemiology. Comparison of the genome sequences of COVID-19, SARS-CoV, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) showed that COVID-19 has a better sequence identity with SARS-CoV compared to MERS CoV. However, the amino acid sequence of COVID-19 differs from other coronaviruses specifically in the regions of 1ab polyprotein and surface glycoprotein or S-protein. Although several animals have been speculated to be a reservoir for COVID-19, no animal reservoir has been already confirmed. COVID-19 causes COVID-19 disease that has similar symptoms as SARS-CoV. Studies suggest that the human receptor for COVID-19 may be angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor similar to that of SARS-CoV. The nucleocapsid (N) protein of COVID-19 has nearly 90% amino acid sequence identity with SARS-CoV. The N protein antibodies of SARS-CoV may cross react with COVID-19 but may not provide cross-immunity. In a similar fashion to SARS-CoV, the N protein of COVID-19 may play an important role in suppressing the RNA interference (RNAi) to overcome the host defense. This mini-review aims at investigating the most recent trend of COVID-19.