In late December 2019, a new virulent virus emerged in the Wuhan, Hubei province, China that produced a potentially fatal atypical pneumonia, eventually called COVID-19. It was the third time in the last two decades that an outbreak of a highly infectious agent presented a global threat. Identification and sequencing of the virus responsible for this outbreak determined that it was a novel coronavirus (CoV), which was termed SARS-CoV-2.
Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 showed that it is ~80% identical to SARS-CoV, the CoV responsible for the SARS pandemic in 2002.1,2 Studies have also shown that it also utilizes the same cell surface receptor as SARS-CoV to gain entry into the host cell, which is Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE-2). Additionally, the viral spike (S) protein, which binds to ACE-2, needs to be primed by cellular serine proteases such as TMPRSS2.1,3 This preliminary identification and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 was key for the development of detection assays. It will also help hasten the efforts to develop antiviral therapies. However, much still needs to be learned about this virus, its infection and transmission, and the magnitude of COVID-19. As a leading brand in the life sciences industry, Bio-Techne develops resources to support CoV research, including for SARS-CoV-2 detection, cytokine monitoring, and drug discovery, in order to help the scientific community understand the mechanisms of infection and develop effective treatments. Also, if you need something for SARS-CoV-2 research, but can't find it, or if you need to outsource the production of proteins, antibodies, or immunoassays, contact our Custom Services to find out how we can help you.