Biology of Coronaviruses and Predicted Origin of SARS-CoV-2

Giorgio Palù, Alberto Reale, Nicolas G. Bazan, Pritam Kumar Panda, Vladimir N. Uversky, Murat Seyran, Alaa A. A. Aljabali, Samendra P. Sherchan, Gajendra Kumar Azad, Wagner Baetas-da-cruz, Parise Adadi, Murtaza M. Tambuwala, Bruce D. Uhal, Kazuo Takayama, Ángel Serrano-aroca, Tarek Mohamed Abd El-aziz, Adam M. Brufsky, Kenneth Lundstrom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses with a single-stranded, positive-strand RNA genome, belonging to the Coronaviridae family and the Nidovirales order. They are divided into four genera, Alpha-, Beta-, Gamma-, and Delta-coronaviruses isolated from many mammals and birds. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has an approximately 30 kb-long genome containing 16 non-structural, four structural, and six accessory genes. Its life cycle is characterized by attachment to the ACE2 host receptor, viral entry through endosomes, and RNA release into the cytoplasm for replication and expression of structural proteins. Mature viral particles are assembled and released by exocytosis. SARS-CoV-2 is a virulent, pandemic human pathogen causing Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) and usually infects the human respiratory tract. Clinical manifestations are variable and range from a mild infection of the upper airways to life-threatening interstitial pneumonia, especially in elderly individuals or patients with comorbidities. Studies on the origin of SARS-CoV-2 are of utmost significance, as they not only provide clues on where, how, and from what species SARS-CoV-2 originated, but also provide crucial means for better preparation for any emerging outbreaks. So far, the hypothesis of its natural animal origin has been favored and an unintentional laboratory leak cannot be excluded.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOVID-19
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Bench to Bedside
PublisherCRC Press
Edition1st edition
ISBN (Electronic)9781003190394
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 7 Feb 2022


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