Coronavirus with all its devastation continued to put humanity on edge. More than 4.5 million people are affected by it and 300,000 deaths around the globe are being reported till the writing of this article. But the good news is, Coronavirus could be defeated by 4 different methods.
1. Developing a potent vaccine:
The vaccine would induce the body’s immune system to fight the virus and produce antibodies that can stay in the bloodstream for life. Unfortunately developing vaccine under the normal circumstances can take several years. As researchers must study the virus bit by bit in a detailed manner. Then they choose small harmless fragment of the virus to serve as a vaccine. In other cases, they choose any fragment of the virus and deactivate it with chemicals.
2. Designing a drug that targets either the virus or the host cell:
After the virus enters the human cells it begins making copies of itself. Then it destroys the cell and releases the new copies to infect new cells. The drug could block the virus from replicating inside human cells. But this means the virus would remain dormant without any activity inside human cells which could be dangerous at later stages for human being. The drug could also force the infected cell to kill itself by apoptosis. Apoptosis is a process in which the cell releases molecules that eat it from the inside. Immune cells called phagocytes then come in and ingest the cellular components. Developing such a drug normally takes such a long time and research which makes this an unlikely solution.
3. Testing existing drugs:
Viruses in general share similarities in their genome some of them can be as high as ninety percent which means existing drugs for other viruses could solve the current problem. Current reports show that anti-HIV drugs are being repurposed to fight coronavirus.
4. Genetically engineered human T-cell:
Using CRISPR (clustered regularly inter-spaced short palindromic repeats) to inject genetically engineered cells into the human body. The engineered T-cells are more potent in recognizing and killing the infected cells. Because of the slight difference in our genomes genetically engineering must be done separately for each person. This is a slow and not likely to be a better solution for the current pandemic.
For the moment our only hope is in the development of a vaccine to contain this disease.
Note: this scientific excerpt has been written with the courtesy of Science Nature Page on Facebook (fb.com/sciencenaturepage)