Current coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) epidemiological, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches: An updated review until June 2020

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Ahmed Nabil
Koichiro Uto
Mohamed M. Elshemy
Reham Soliman
Ayman A. Hassan
Mitsuhiro Ebara
Gamal Shiha


Coronaviruses are a group of enveloped viruses with non-segmented, single-stranded, and positive-sense RNA genomes. In December 2019, an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), in Wuhan City, China. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global pandemic in March 2020. Fever, dry cough and fatigue are found in the vast majority of all COVID-19 cases. Early diagnosis, treatment and future prevention are keys to COVID-19 management. Currently, the unmet need to develop cost-effective point-of-contact test kits and efficient laboratory techniques for confirmation of COVID-19 infection has powered a new frontier of diagnostic innovation. No proven effective therapies or vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 currently exist. The rapidly increasing research regarding COVID-19 virology provides a significant number of potential drug targets. Remdesivir may be the most promising therapy up till now. On May 1, 2020, Gilead Sciences, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for the investigational Remdesivir as a potential antiviral for COVID-19 treatment. On May 7, 2020, Gilead Sciences, announced that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has granted regulatory approval of Veklury® (Remdesivir) as a treatment for SARS-CoV-2 infection, the virus that causes COVID-19 acute respiratory syndrome, under an exceptional approval pathway. Also, Corticosteroids are recommended for severe cases only to suppress the immune response and reduce symptoms, but not for mild and moderate patients where they are associated with a high-risk side effect. Based on the currently published evidence, we tried to highlight different diagnostic approaches, side effects and therapeutic agents that could help physicians in the frontlines.

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Nabil, A., Uto, K., Elshemy, M. M., Soliman, R., Hassan, A. A., Ebara, M., & Shiha, G. (2020). Current coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) epidemiological, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches: An updated review until June 2020. EXCLI Journal, 19, 992-1016.
Review articles