To support urgent research to combat the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the editorial teams at Nature Research have curated a collection of relevant articles. Our collection includes research into the basic biology of coronavirus infection, its detection, treatment and evolution, research into the epidemiology of emerging viral diseases, and our coverage of current events. The articles will remain free to access for as long as the outbreak remains a public health emergency of international concern.
Latest SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 research
There is currently no licensed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. Here, the authors generate an optimized DNA vaccine candidate encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen, demonstrating induction of specific T cells and neutralizing antibody responses in mice and guinea pigs. These initial results support further development of this vaccine candidate.
Early and accurate clinical assessment of disease severity in COVID-19 patients is essential for planning the allocation of scarce hospital resources. An explainable machine learning tool trained on blood sample data from 485 patients from Wuhan selected three biomarkers for predicting mortality of individual patients with high accuracy.
A crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 with inhibitor carmofur reveals the mechanism of action of this compound and opens the way to develop more potent drugs.
Vaccines and targeted therapeutics for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are currently lacking. Here, the authors report a human monoclonal antibody capable of neutralizing both authentic SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 by targeting a common epitope.
SARS-CoV-2 uses ACE2 as the entry receptor. Here, the authors show that an ACE2-Ig fusion protein inhibits entry of virus pseudotyped with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, show differential binding kinetics of SARS-CoV and SARSCoV-2 spike proteins to ACE2, and determine pharmakocinetic parameters of ACE2-Ig in mice.
SARS-CoV-2 in patient samples is detected in under an hour using a CRISPR-based lateral flow assay.
A programme of structure-assisted drug design and high-throughput screening identifies six compounds that inhibit the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating the ability of this strategy to isolate drug leads with clinical potential.
Here, it is shown that there was community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 early in January.
A study of 246 individuals with seasonal respiratory virus infections randomized to wear or not wear a surgical face mask showed that masks can significantly reduce detection of coronavirus and influenza virus in exhaled breath and may help interrupt virus transmission.
Detailed virological analysis of nine cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) provides proof of active replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in tissues of the upper respiratory tract.
High-resolution crystal structures of the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV in complex with ACE2 provide insights into the binding mode of these coronaviruses and highlight essential ACE2-interacting residues.
The crystal structure of the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike in complex with human ACE2, compared with the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV, sheds light on the structural features that increase its binding affinity to ACE2.
Characterization of spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 on virus entry and its immune cross-reactivity with SARS-CoV
SARS-CoV-2 has spread globally. Here, the authors characterize the entry pathway of SARS-CoV-2, show that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is less stable than that of SARS-CoV, and show limited cross-neutralization activities between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 sera.
An estimation of the clinical severity of COVID-19, based on the data available so far, can help to inform the public health response during the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
Functional assessment of cell entry and receptor usage for SARS-CoV-2 and other lineage B betacoronaviruses
This study describes the development of an approach to rapidly screen lineage B betacoronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV and the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2, for receptor usage and their ability to infect cell types from different species. Using it, they confirm human ACE2 as the receptor for SARs-CoV-2 and show that host protease processing during viral entry is a significant barrier for viral entry.
Phylogenetic and metagenomic analyses of the complete viral genome of a new coronavirus from the family Coronaviridae reveal that the virus is closely related to a group of SARS-like coronaviruses found in bats in China.
Characterization of full-length genome sequences from patients infected with a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) shows that the sequences are nearly identical and indicates that the virus is related to a bat coronavirus.
News and Comment
The COVID-19 pandemic has added an additional layer of complexity to endovascular treatment (EVT) for acute ischaemic stroke. Drawing on recently published guidelines, this article provides a conceptual framework for EVT in the COVID-19 era, outlining key principles for ensuring safe and timely EVT while minimizing the risk of infectious exposure for health-care workers and patients.
How viruses are related, and how they have evolved and spread over time, can be investigated using phylogenetics. Here, we set out how genomic analyses should be used during an epidemic and propose that phylogenetic insights from the early stages of an outbreak should heed all of the available epidemiological information.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a historical challenge to society. The profusion of data requires machine learning to improve and accelerate COVID-19 diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. However, a global and open approach is necessary to avoid pitfalls in these applications.
The attention and resources of AI researchers have been captured by COVID-19. However, successful adoption of AI models in the fight against the pandemic is facing various challenges, including moving clinical needs as the epidemic progresses and the necessity to translate models to local healthcare situations.
In an unprecedented effort of scientific collaboration, researchers across fields are racing to support the response to COVID-19. Making a global impact with AI tools will require scalable approaches for data, model and code sharing; adapting applications to local contexts; and cooperation across borders.
According to five new studies, therapy with angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) is not associated with an increased risk of infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or with an increased risk of severe disease or in-hospital death among patients with COVID-19.
The importance of reported neurological manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still unclear. Nevertheless, an immediate and ongoing neurological challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic is the management of patients who are undergoing immunotherapy for existing neuroimmunological disease.
Early published data on COVID-19 in patients with cancer are being referenced in clinical guidelines, despite methodological flaws that limit the quality of much of this evidence. In the next phase of research in this area, we argue that the quality of observational evidence should be prioritized over speed of publication.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, science is crucial to inform public policy. At the same time, mistrust of scientists and misinformation about scientific facts are rampant. Six scientists, actively involved in outreach, reflect on how to build a better understanding and trust of science.
The urgent need to address COVID-19 has highlighted the delicate relationships among science, politics and the media. To achieve a successful long-term response to the pandemic, stakeholders need to be guided by data, integrity and a sense of responsibility toward the public.
Politicians may present themselves as merely implementing scientific advice, but Alex Stevens argues that, when science meets politics, it can be a case of survival of the ideas that fit.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting and changing the daily practice of gastrointestinal endoscopy worldwide. To protect patients and endoscopy unit personnel, endoscopy units have had to postpone a large proportion of endoscopic procedures. These delays might have an effect on the screening for and surveillance of digestive cancers.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to safely provide patient care meant that many health-care providers rapidly implemented and integrated telehealth into their practice. However, telehealth will continue to be an integral part of urology after the pandemic and our field should embrace telehealth and develop strategies to overcome associated challenges.
A global effort is ongoing in the scientific community and in the maker movement, which focuses on creating devices and tinkering with them, to reverse-engineer commercial medical equipment and get it to healthcare workers. For these ‘low-tech’ solutions to have a real impact, it is important for them to coalesce around approved designs.
Energy plays a central role in responding to emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, from ensuring adequate healthcare services to supporting households during lockdowns. Protecting the renewable energy industry and its contribution to providing sustainable energy access for all must be an urgent priority in the current crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in immediate effects on urological practice, in particular the vast reduction in elective surgeries. These changes are likely to have long-term effects for both patients and for urologists, which will persist even after the pandemic resolves. The many facets of COVID-19’s effects on urology remain to be seen, but they might also offer opportunities to reassess and improve patient management in urology and beyond.
Species distribution models are a powerful tool for ecological inference, but not every use is biologically justified. Applying these tools to the COVID-19 pandemic is unlikely to yield new insights, and could mislead policymakers at a critical moment.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, mathematical epidemiologists share their views on what models reveal about how the disease has spread, the current state of play and what work still needs to be done.
COVID-19 Disease Map, building a computational repository of SARS-CoV-2 virus-host interaction mechanisms
Researchers around the world join forces to reconstruct the molecular processes of the virus-host interactions aiming to combat the cause of the ongoing pandemic.
The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic has become the focus of attention worldwide, and herein we seek to highlight the potential problem of ‘collateral mortality’ from delayed or deferred treatments in patients with cancer. We propose potential solutions to ensure continuity of care in the field of surgical oncology.
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated changes in social and economic conditions may affect the prevalence of energy insecurity. Essential relief must be provided to the growing number of households that are energy insecure and protect them from even more dire circumstances caused by utility disconnections and unpaid energy bills.
Here, Hotez and colleagues highlight the two ‘faces’ of immune enhancement that could impact COVID-19 vaccine design.
Radiotherapy can be safely delivered during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, often through use of hypofractionated regimens, which minimize the number of visits to treatment centres while also avoiding potentially detrimental delays in the delivery of cancer care.
Nearly 100 years since it was first used in humans as a vaccine for tuberculosis, Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) has been suggested as a possible agent to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A number of studies are underway to investigate this possibility but — even if they prove effective — many questions will remain.
As the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has triggered worldwide closures of research labs and facilities, Kostas Kostarelos shares his views on what may be going wrong in the fight against COVID-19 and how the nanoscience community could and should contribute.
Reviews and Perspectives
In this Comment, Michaela Gack and colleagues discuss how the dysregulation of type I interferon responses may contribute to COVID-19 pathology.
This Progress article from Merad and Martin examines our current understanding of the excessive inflammatory responses seen in patients with severe COVID-19. The authors focus on the emerging pathological roles of monocytes and macrophages and discuss the inflammatory pathways that are currently being targeted in the clinic.
Behaviour change is crucial to preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the absence of pharmaceutical interventions. West et al. argue that we urgently need effective interventions to increase adherence to personal protective behaviours.
Forty-three experts highlight some key insights from the social and behavioural sciences for effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic and point out important gaps researchers should move quickly to fill in the coming weeks and months.
In the short time since SARS-CoV-2 infections emerged in humans, much has been learned about the immunological processes that underlie the clinical manifestation of COVID-19. Here, the authors provide an overview of the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and discuss potential therapeutic approaches.