Coronavirus is a class of virus which are quite deadly and mostly affects the upper respiratory tract. A third of the incidences of common cold are caused by viruses of this group. Coronavirus are responsible for the deadly SARS epidemic in the past and more recently the MERS epidemic which is sweeping the Middle East. The SARS epidemic had killed more than 800 people in 2002 while the less virulent but more dangerous MERS which has already killed more than 193 people.
There is some good news finally in the fight against this deadly class of virus. An international team of scientists have unearthed a compound which can fight coranovirus which are responsible for the SARS and MERS epidemic.
As explained before most of the incidences of common cold are caused by Coronavirus . However a more virulent strain believed to have come from bats started the SAQRS epidemic. The recent MERS is also believed to come from camels.
A team of scientists led by Trybala from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Volker Thiel from the University of Bern have unearthed a compound christened K22 could block the entry of the virus into humans.
In an e-mail to AFP, Trybala said, “our work we found a novel strategy to combat these viruses .This finding is important in light of the fact that some emerging Coronavirus , such as SARS and MERS… are potential pandemic-causing pathogens,”
Initially the team found out K22 which could combat a weak form of Coronavirus which caused mild flu like symptoms from 16,671 different compounds. They then went on to show that it can fight more serious strains, including SARS and MERS.
The modus operandi of the Coronavirus has been explained in the journal “PLOS Pathogens”. The virus first reproduces in the cells which line our respiratory system. In the next stage the virus reshapes the membranes which separates the different cells of the human body and changes them into a protective armor to start its reproduction cycle aptly named the viral factories.
The newly discovered compound K22 prevents the virus from taking control of the cell membranes and thus exposing a chink in the virus armor which could be used in future treatment possibilities.