Researchers from the University of Hong Kong released on January 31 images of the first batch of new coronaviruses that replicate in cells.
Researchers say that each virus-infected cell generates more than a thousand virions.
With the efforts of scientific researchers, this new virus that has caused tens of thousands of people to be infected is gradually being unveiled.
Electron microscope image of the University of Hong Kong shows new coronavirus growing in cells
Announcing the virus replication process
-More than a thousand virus particles are derived from infected cells
According to Hong Kong's "Oriental Daily" reported on February 1, John Nicholls, a professor of clinical medicine at the Department of Pathology of the University of Hong Kong, and Pan Liewen and Malik Peiris, professors of the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong School of Medicine, observed new coronal shapes by culturing infected cells. The growth process of the virus.
Thin-film electron micrographs of the new coronavirus show virus particles released from the surface of infected cells.
Li Guosi said that each infected cell would generate thousands of virions to continue to infect new cells.
The researchers also studied samples of the virus at different growth times to better understand the virus's replication process and compare it with other coronaviruses.
According to Bloomberg, Li Guosi is a member of the Hong Kong team that isolates and identifies the SARS virus. Li Guosi said that he is willing to share relevant information with researchers who have not yet obtained new coronavirus strains worldwide.
New coronavirus Wuhan strain 01 Photo source: National Pathogen Library
What's new in research?
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that are known to cause disease. Patients present with different clinical symptoms ranging from the common cold to severe lung infections, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
The new coronavirus 2019-nCov discovered in Wuhan this time is a new coronavirus that has not been found in humans before.
What new developments do we have in its research?
Computer model: Schematic diagram of virus S protein binding to human ACEⅡ protein. Image courtesy of Pasteur Shanghai, Chinese Academy of Sciences
——About the intrusion mechanism
Virus infection of host cells can be divided into three steps:
Invasion-the virus replicates in the host cell (including viral genome replication and viral protein synthesis)-the synthesized viral genome and viral protein assemble to form a new virus particle, leave the host cell, and then infect other host cells.
Deciphering the mechanism by which viruses invade host cells can guide the design of drugs, antibodies, or vaccines for prevention and control.
Microscope of SARS Coronavirus Photo courtesy of Pasteur of Shanghai, Chinese Academy of Sciences
In terms of the invasion mechanism, according to the Chinese Science Journal, scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found that the cellular receptors of new coronaviruses are the same as SARS-CoV (SARS coronavirus, editor's note) receptors, both of which are ACE2.
Now, it is initially found that the binding ability of the new virus to the receptor is slightly stronger than SARS-CoV. Scientists are studying the ability of the new coronavirus to bind to ACE2 molecules from different species and explore possible intermediate hosts for virus transmission.
New coronavirus Wuhan strain 02 Photo from National Pathogen Library
Coronaviruses are now known as RNA viruses with the largest genomes. Compared to human DNA, which is used as genetic material, the fidelity of RNA genome replication is relatively poor and it is easy to produce more mutations.
Cao Bin, Executive Deputy Dean of the Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said recently that no obvious mutations have been found in the surveillance and isolation of viruses in the human body and the environment.
However, the longer the epidemic period, the more likely it is to mutate, and virologists and epidemiologists will continue to closely monitor the new coronavirus, and shortening the epidemic period is the key to reducing the risk of virus mutation.
Chinese Academy of Sciences experts also said that they are analyzing more complete genomic mutations and tracking possible mutations in the transmission process of the virus.
New South Pulmonary Patients Admitted to Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University
Shi Yi, a researcher at the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and deputy director of the Key Laboratory of Pathogen Microbiology and Immunology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in an interview with the Chinese Journal of Science that by comparing 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV virus polymerase protein genes, scientists found that they are similar Very high, above 90%.
Shi Yi also said that about 50 compounds with potential activity are currently being screened by the computer virtual screening method for polymerase, and are preparing to test and verify the activity.
Among the 50 compounds, a compound called ritonavir is an anti-AIDS drug. Recently, researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology have confirmed that it has antiviral effects at the cellular level, and its subsequent clinical use is in progress. Follow relevant procedures for approval.
Scientists also hope to discover more old medicines already used in hospitals, which can be used for clinical treatment faster.
In addition, on January 31, a paper in the medical journal "New England Journal of Medicine" disclosed the first medication for patients with new coronary pneumonia in the United States. The symptoms improved on the 7th day after hospitalization with lendesivir.
However, the pharmaceutical company said the drug is not on the market and is cooperating with Chinese health authorities.
Researchers demonstrate the experimental process of developing a new coronavirus mRNA vaccine on February 1st Photo by Tang Yanjun
Recently, some media quoted Li Lanjuan, a member of the high-level expert group of the Chinese National Health and Health Committee and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, as saying: "It will take at least three months for the vaccine to be successfully developed."
Li Lanjuan later explained that "three months" was only the initial development time, such as cultivating vaccine strains, testing and verification, etc. The new pneumonia vaccine still has a long way to go to market.
In terms of vaccine research, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences is conducting antiviral drug screening for new coronavirus infection, establishment of animal models, and research and development of vaccines.
Researchers are demonstrating the experimental process of developing a new coronavirus mRNA vaccine
The China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also developing vaccines. It was the center ’s first information on the first new coronavirus strain that laid the foundation for vaccine development.
Enterprises and institutions at home and abroad have also joined. For example, the Translational Medicine Platform of Dongfang Hospital affiliated to Tongji University has cooperated with Siwei (Shanghai) Biotechnology Co., Ltd. to promote the research and development of a new coronavirus mRNA vaccine.
Johnson & Johnson announced that it will use the same technology used in the company's laboratory to study the Ebola vaccine to develop new vaccine candidates for coronavirus.
The National Institutes of Health also said that the first phase of the National Institutes of Health vaccine clinical trial may begin within three months.