The coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused such a stir in the world making people scared for their lives. This virus was first detected about three months ago and since then it has spread all over the world affecting over 137K people.
Nowadays, we are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, making governments to put their citizens in isolation to prevent further spread of the virus. Meanwhile the medical world is working really hard to find the cure for this virus.
WHO – The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic situation due to the count of people that this virus has infected, more than 137K people around the world were tested positive and 5K lost their lives in the fight against the virus. However, the positive news is that about 70K people have recovered from the virus.
Scientists are working diligently on the vaccine against this virus, namely a group of Canadian scientists from Sunnybrook Hospital, McMaster University and the University of Toronto seem to be on the way of finding it. Up to now they have managed to isolate and grow copies of the novel corona virus that would be of great assistance in the development of vaccines, treatments, and tests of the virus. This will be very helpful to a better understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 biology, evolution and clinical shedding.
The NSERC post-doctoral fellow at McMaster University, Dr. Arinjay Banerjee, maintained:
“Now that we have isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus [the agent responsible for COVID-19], we can share this with other researchers and continue this teamwork. The more viruses that are made available in this way, the more we can learn, collaborate and share.”
The renowned physician, expert in microbiology and infectious diseases, Dr. Samira Mubareka, said:
“We need key tools to develop solutions to this pandemic. While the immediate response is crucial, longer-term solutions come from essential research into this novel virus.”
For the purpose of testing, scientists have used samples from patients being infected by COVID-19 in order to replicate the virus in a level three containment facility at the University of Toronto. This will allow the researchers to work on potential solutions to the pandemic according to Mubareka. In addition to this, Mabureka’s colleague Dr. Rob Kozak, a clinical microbiologist at Sunnybrook, stated that researchers from highly valued institutions collaborate and work together “in a grassroots way to successfully isolate the virus in just a few short weeks”. This collaboration will inevitable bring positive results, believes Kozak.
Independent reports that the Chinese scientists have been the first ones to isolate the virus, and the Italian and Australian research teams have also succeeded in that, too.
However, viruses continuously mutate and evolve, and now at the moment there are currently several strains of the coronavirus, known as Sars-CoV-2. Nonetheless, the results of the research teams are one step forward as each isolation of the virus is a chance for scientists to evaluate how quickly the Sars-CoV-2 virus is mutating, and what are the results of the mutations.
The biotech Medicago, based in Quebec, is very close to the creation of a vaccine by producing a virus-like particle of the novel coronavirus. It will be soon tested for safety and efficacy.
Meanwhile, the research in China does not stop, 8 institutes in China are also developing five approaches to inoculations to battle against COVID-19. According to Chinese officials the COVID-19 vaccine can be in use next month for emergencies and clinical trials.