A battle with the new coronavirus has begun, the whole country to talk about “toxic” color change, have “home” at home. In this battle without smoke, many people may be impressed by the medical staff from all over the country rushed to the local hospital in Wuhan, medical supplies from all over the country and even around the world to Wuhan and other parts of Hubei Province. On the other hand, scientists are also struggling to fight the epidemic on the front lines. Early in the outbreak, scientists were involved in the study of the new coronavirus.
At present, scholars at home and abroad are engaged in a tense academic relay: from the virus genome sequence to the identification of virus source, to the clinical characteristics of patients, the analysis of the law of virus transmission, in various fields have research groups involved in it.
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In the early stages of the outbreak,
Domestic scholars have been involved in the study of the virus
Jiang Shibo, a virologist at Fudan University, was born in May 2015, when the Middle East and South Korea were suffering from the MERS virus. Just before we were talking, Professor Jiang Wasbo was interrupted by a ringing phone that was on the other side of the country’s health department, which asked him about merS virus features and drug development.
Jiang Shibo, director of the Institute of Pathogen Microbiology at Fudan University and a virologist
In mid-January 2020, an outbreak of unexplained pneumonia in Wuhan occurred, so we naturally thought of him again. On January 18th, when most people in the country did not know what the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was, “Intellectuals” contacted Jiang Shibo about the virus, and his first words were, “I’m sorry, I’m so busy now, I can only answer it simply.” “
In the early stages of the outbreak, Jiang identified the virus’s full gene sequence as having some differences with SARS coronaviruses, but its S protein HR1 (the target area of fusion inhibitors) and HR2 (the derivative area of fusion inhibitors) were very similar. After the outbreak, his post-doctoral staff also took the initiative to ask for a waiver of leave and start research on the use of peptides to suppress the new coronavirus.
There are many scholars who began their research early in the outbreak. Where did the new coronavirus come from and where did it come from? Domestic academic circles launched a tense academic relay.
On December 8, 2019, patients with unidentified pneumonia developed in Wuhan. On December 26, Shanghai virologists took samples from patients and began testing for the virus.
On January 1, 2020, the wholesale seafood market in South China was closed. On the same day, the Cdc Virus Disease Institute sent a team of experts to Wuhan to participate in epidemic prevention and control, to the South China seafood market, “for the case-related merchants and related neighborhoods to collect environmental samples”, found that the collected samples contain new coronavirus nucleic acid, and successfully isolated the virus, This provides valuable clues for the traceability of the virus and the determination of the outbreak.
Although since then, Wuhan Municipal Health and Health Commission said, “according to the national, provincial and municipal experts epidemiological investigation, the incidence of unexplained cases of viral pneumonia in Wuhan between December 8, 2019 and January 2, 2020.” Since January 3, 2020, clinical and epidemiological investigations have shown that no new infections have been detected in patients”, but academic research into the new coronavirus has not stopped.
A collaborative team led by Zhang Yongzhen is the first to complete the genome of the new coronavirus
On January 10, a collaborative team led by Zhang Yongzhen of Fudan University’s Institute of Biomedical Research completed the work on the genome of the new coronavirus in Wuhan and posted the sequence on the virological.org website. Although Zhang Yongzhen did not publish the paper through this virus sequence, but this is a follow-up new coronavirus traceability and identification is a critical step.
On 12 January, China and WHO shared the whole genome sequence of the new coronavirus. At the same time, China submitted the sequence to the GISAID platform so that public health agencies, laboratories and researchers could access it.
On January 17, scholars such as Takayama, school of life sciences at Nankai University, published an article in the journal Bioinformatics, “Bioinformatics Analysis of the Coronary Virus Genome in Wuhan 2019”, saying that the results of the traceability analysis support the wuhan 2019 coronavirus originating from the Chinese chrysanthemum manta rays and infer that the virus may be a new variant of the coronavirus. And the variation is fast, the host is many, and has strong host adaptability.
On January 18th, when “Intellectuals” connected with Jiang Shibo, a scholar at Fudan University, he made a preliminary judgment on the source of the virus, which aroused great concern. “The receptor binding site of this virus is similar to the receptor binding site of the SARS virus, and it may be that when it enters a new host (possibly a wild animal), its receptor binding site mutates so that it can infect humans like a SARS virus.” “
On January 21st, researcher Yu Pei of the Pasteur Institute in Shanghai, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhong Wu, researcher of the Institute of Military Medicine, and Li Xuan, researcher of the Center for Molecular Plant Excellence of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, published the latest research on the evolutionary sources of the new coronavirus in the English edition of “China Science: Life Sciences”. The researchers found that “the genetic sequences of the new coronavirus and SARS virus and MERS virus have an average sequence similarity of – 70% and – 40% respectively, but they differ greatly from the key spike gene (codeD S protein) of the function of the host cell”, and that the new coronavirus belongs to the beta coronavirus genus.
Shi Zhengli is known as the “Bat Girl”
On January 23rd The team of Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virus Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences published a high-profile study that pointed the source of the new coronavirus to bats. In the academic circle, Shi Zhengli is known as the “Bat Girl”. The study reported on a new type of coronavirus in Wuhan and found that the virus was 79.5 percent similar to SARS-CoV (SARS), while the same as the bat coronavirus was 96 percent more homologous, so she speculated that the new coronavirus may have originated in bats.
New coronavirus estheofs with SARS-CoV (SARS)
Although the study was published in an unpeerly bioRxiv preprint, it has attracted great attention and laid the groundwork for the traceability of the new coronavirus.
Structural characteristics of new coronaviruses under electric mirrors
On January 24, the Virus Disease Prevention and Control Institute of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention successfully isolated the first strain of viral virus isolated from clinical samples with a photo of the virus and its electroscope. On January 27, the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Viral Disease Prevention and Control Institute released information such as the English name, number (NPRC 2020.00002) of the first new coronavirus isolated from environmental samples.
Science magazine writes questioning more than one place where the virus originated
Of course, the trace of the new coronavirus has not been plain sailing, there is a lot of controversy. As science magazine wrote on January 27th, Wuhan South China Seafood Market is not the only source of the new coronavirus.
In addition, the new coronavirus comes from bats, but it is also controversial to have an intermediate host, and who is the intermediate host. On January 22nd, Peking University, Guangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and other institutions published in the Journal of Medical Virology that the new coronavirus’s password preference is similar to that of snakes, so snakes are the most likely animals to carry the new coronavirus. The hypothesis was questioned by academics, with British virologists saying that “there is no evidence that snakes can be infected with this new coronavirus and as a host, and there is no consistent evidence of beta coronavirus in other hosts other than mammals and birds.” “
In addition, the paper published in the English edition of China Science: Life Sciences, citing the new coronavirus sequence data, was used without the consent of the uploader, has been criticized by senior industry scholars, after which the relevant scholars had to modify and correct the paper. In addition, the Takayama team’s paper also used shared data to publish the paper without communicating with Zhang Yongzhen’s team, which triggered a war of words between Fudan University and Nankai University.
A senior scholar in the field of domestic virology said, “The sequence slot slot on Genbank is open, but the sequence data on Gisaid must be authorized with the consent of the uploader, and the core principle is that once you are registered, it means that you are bound by it.” “
Scientists reacted very quickly and the study of the new coronavirus was more in-depth, but the mystery of how the new coronavirus infected humans has yet to be solved. What is more important now is the publication of the epidemiological characteristics of the new coronavirus and the clinical data of patients in order to control the outbreak at an early stage and find a cure for it.
Judgement of outbreaks, publication of epidemiological and clinical data
Zhong Nanshan on the train from Guangzhou to Wuhan, pictured by Su Yueming
Before a panel of experts headed by Zhong Nanshan announced the presence of a new coronavirus, most of the country’s residents were still immersed in the celebration of the Spring Festival, running on their way home. Billions of people’s Spring Festival migration, before the second day of the New Year alone from the Han people have more than 5 million, they scattered throughout the country, home with their loved ones to gather.
On January 18, a high-level expert group of the National Health and Health Commission headed by Zhong Nanshan academician went to Wuhan, where they went to Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital and Wuhan CDC to learn about the situation. On January 20th, Zhong Nanshan made the whole country pay attention to the new coronavirus.
“According to the current information, the new coronavirus pneumonia is definitely human-to-human transmission. Zhong Nanshan said in an interview with CCTV News on the same day.
Just a few days later, the outbreak of the new coronavirus was so ferocious that it was more severe than many had expected. Not only the Wuhan area was affected, but cases were also detected throughout the country affected by the Spring Festival migration.
Since then, epidemiological, clinical data and reviews of the new coronavirus outbreak have been published in the Four Major International Medical Journals, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the British Medical Journal.
On January 24, Tan Wenjie, director of the Center for Virus Disease Prevention and Control at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, director of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Wu Guizhen of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Virus Disease Prevention and Control Institute jointly presented a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine.
In December 2019, a group of unexplained pneumonia patients were found to be linked to a wholesale seafood market in Wuhan, China, the researchers said. A previously unknown beta coronavirus was found by unbiased sequencing of samples from pneumonia patients. A new type of coronavirus named 2019-nCoV has been obtained from the separation of epithelial cells in the human airway. The paper also provided an in-depth analysis of the disease characteristics of three adult patients with severe pneumonia, isolated the strain from clinical specimens, and obtained the 2019-nCoV virus.
Timeline of the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak
On the same day, The Lancet and its sub-issues simultaneously launched the “New Coronary Virus” topic, which expounded the epidemic characteristics of the new coronavirus from the aspects of clinical symptoms, transmission mode (tracking family research) and so on.
Early infections of new virus escloser in and out of the South China seafood market
Huang Zhaolin, chief physician of thoracic surgery at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan City, analyzed and summarized the clinical symptoms of the 41 patients who were initially infected, and found that 27 of the 41 patients had been exposed to the South China seafood market, and pointed out that the common symptoms of infection were fever, followed by cough, fatigue and so on. By analyzing the 41 patients, 13 (32%) were admitted to the ICU and 6 (15%) died. Such a high fatality rate has surprised many people, of course, this is only a preliminary clinical result, we need more epidemiological details about the new coronavirus. Even more surprisingly, three of the top four infected people had no history of exposure to the South China seafood market. Science magazine wrote that Wuhan South China Seafood Market is not the only source of the new coronavirus.
Chen Fuhe and other scholars revealed a family-infected study case, pictured from lancet.com, by volunteer Hanhua
Another closely watched article in The Lancet came from Yuan Guoyong’s team at the Li Ka-shing School of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, who focused on a family infected with the 2019-nCoV, found that the incidence of the new coronavirus has a family cluster, and used data to determine the human-human route of 2019-nCoV. “Previously, this new coronavirus has been transmitted from person to person in hospital and home environments, and cases of infected travelers have been reported in other countries, and the findings of our study are consistent with these. Yuan Guoyong said.
Several antiviral trialdrugs are under going into clinical trials
The number of new coronavirus infections is on the rise, are there targeted effective drugs? Maybe each of us is paying attention to this topic. Several research teams at home and abroad are already working on drug development, but so far there is no officially proven effective drug or vaccine.
On January 25th, Jiang Hualiang, Rao Zi and led by chinese Academy of Sciences, established a joint emergency response team against 2019-nCoV virus infection, and through screening several databases, 30 drugs and active natural products that may have therapeutic effects on 2019-nCoV were obtained. The drug research is still very early.
On January 26, Lu Hongzhou, a clinical center for public health in Shanghai, said in an interview that the AIDS treatment drug Lopinavir/Litonavir tablets have been used in the treatment of new confirmed cases of pneumonia in the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, “clinical observation has effect, but this is only a preliminary conclusion, we need to do more observation.” Lu Hongzhou said.
On January 27th The Intellectuals connected with Jiang Shibo, whose team is working to see if EK1 peptides are effective in patients with new coronaviruses, and Jiang shibo said, “The peptide seronotes may be used in patients infected with the new coronavirus.”
As early as the early 1990s, Jiang Shibo discovered the first highly effective anti-HIV C peptide, and then developed anti-SARS peptides during the SARS epidemic in 2003, and anti-SMER peptides and anti-multipeptides in 2014 and 2017.
In April 2019, his team announced in the journal Science-Progress that it had successfully developed a broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus peptide- EK1, “” The peptide is effective for all 5 human coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV) and 3 bat-type SARS coronaviruses detected (amino acid sequences in the S-HR2 region of Wuhan new coronavirus with SARS-CoV and SL-CoV The amino acid sequence in the S-HR2 region is exactly the same as that of 97% of s-HR1 regions, and it is believed that EK1 peptides should be equally effective against the new coronavirus in Wuhan. Jiang Shibo said.
Currently, they are testing the inhibition activity of EK1 peptides against 2019-nCoV pseudoviruses and live viral infections and their inhibition effect on membrane fusion. “Once confirmed to be effective, we will make the peptide a nasal/oral spray form of a specific anti-coronavirus, which will be provided free of charge to high-risk groups (e.g. medical personnel or the patient’s family) to prevent infection in 2019-nCoV.” Jiang Shibo said.
The report by the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there is current evidence that the new coronavirus began to spread in the population for about a month, with the main epidemic areas concentrated in and around Wuhan, and that “the epidemic is still in its early stages of epidemic.” Expect more scholars to join the battle against the new coronavirus, and the outbreak will subside soon.