What is SARS-CoV2?
SARS-CoV2 is known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. This is the virus that causes Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). The virus was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China in the respiratory tracts of patients with pneumonia. On March 11th, 2020, Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
SARS-CoV2 is an enveloped, RNA virus in the coronavirus family which broadly infects humans and other mammals. Covid-19 studies suggest bats are the key virus reservoir, with studies showing high genomic similarities between SARS-CoV-2 and bat CoV RaTG13.
Origin and structure of SARS-CoV2
SARS-CoV2 has four main structural proteins including spike (S) glycoprotein, small envelope (E) glycoprotein, membrane (M) glycoprotein, and nucleocapsid (N) protein, in addition several accessory proteins. The spike protein is what allows the virus to attach to cells, starting the infection process.
Image 1 – Structure of SARS-CoV2
Patients who are infected with this virus can develop a wide range of symptoms including: respiratory illness such as pneumonia and injury or dysfunction to other organs such as the heart, kidneys and digestive tract.