Edited by T-C Wu
A thematic series in Journal of Biomedical Science.
Since its emergence three years ago, coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) has become the most serious pandemic of this century thus far, affecting over 6 hundred million people worldwide by September 2022. In response to this global public health crisis, the scientific community rapidly developed effective diagnostic tools, preventive vaccines and therapeutic strategies for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, decreasing the risk of severe symptoms and mortality. This technological progress in response to COVID-19 represents a stunning and historic scientific achievement. Nevertheless, the current prevention and treatment strategies against COVID-19, while highly effective, are not able to halt the COVID-19 pandemic. There are various aspects of this disease that remain to be elucidated, including the underlying mechanism of pathogenesis related to SARS-CoV-2 viral infection[2, 3]. Additionally, there is major concern over potential outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 variants that are not effectively combated by current vaccinations and therapeutics. Thus, further developments targeting SARS-CoV-2 and its numerous variants are needed. In the current issue, there are four review articles that address our current understanding of COVID-19 and provide critical information to improve future vaccination development and drug treatments. The first issue focuses on the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and the various organs affected with COVID-19. The second issue elaborates on the COVID-19 vaccines to-date, including the effectiveness of different types of vaccines and strategies for the future. The third issue focuses on therapeutic antibodies and treatments against SARS-CoV-2 strains. Lastly, the fourth issue discusses the antiviral therapeutic drugs for SARS-CoV-2 currently in development. The above topics exploring the pathogenesis of the infection in patients and the biological basis and clinical impact of the variants and subvariants of SARS-CoV-2 may contribute to the ongoing development of preventative and therapeutic strategies against COVID-19.
1. Organization, G.W.H. WHO COVID-19 Dashboard. 2022; Available from: https://covid19.who.int/
2. Bohn, M.K., et al., Pathophysiology of COVID-19: Mechanisms Underlying Disease Severity and Progression. Physiology (Bethesda), 2020. 35(5): p. 288-301.
3. Choi, H.M., et al., Understanding Viral Infection Mechanisms and Patient Symptoms for the Development of COVID-19 Therapeutics. Int J Mol Sci, 2021. 22(4).