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American Journal of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. 2020, 8(2), 64-74
DOI: 10.12691/ajidm-8-2-4
Open AccessReview Article

Understanding COVID-19 - A Molecular Perspective

Michael O. Okpara1, and Miebaka Jamabo2

1Department of Biochemistry, Federal University of Technology, Akure, P.M.B. 704, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria

2Department of Biochemistry, Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, P.M.B 5080, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Pub. Date: June 08, 2020

Cite this paper:
Michael O. Okpara and Miebaka Jamabo. Understanding COVID-19 - A Molecular Perspective. American Journal of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. 2020; 8(2):64-74. doi: 10.12691/ajidm-8-2-4


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus now identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019 but has spread globally. As of May 11, 2020, over 4 million people have been infected with over 280,000 deaths reported globally. This pandemic has severely affected the global economy as most countries had to take pro-active measures to curb the spread of the disease by shutting their borders, making this one of the most devastating health crises in the past century. Coronavirus epidemics are not new to the human populace. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) caused epidemics in 2002 and 2012, respectively. These three coronaviruses belong to the beta-coronavirus genus. Despite the past experience from the previous coronavirus epidemics, the world was unprepared for this new outbreak. Therefore, it is important to understand the biology of the virus and the possibility of targeting its components for developing therapeutic drugs and vaccines. This review gives an overview of the biology, transmissibility, and genome organization of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, we described the available diagnostic, therapeutic and vaccine strategies for COVID-19.

COVID-19 coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics therapeutics vaccines

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