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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 132-133

Coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic: Tracing the source of viral infection and minimizing the possibility of reintroduction of virus in human population


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission14-May-2020
Date of Acceptance11-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication9-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District- 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/MTSM.MTSM_15_20

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  Abstract 


The Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has overwhelmed the public health authorities and the health care delivery system of multiple nations. The ongoing pandemic is caused by one of the viruses - SARS-CoV-2, belonging to the coronaviruses family. The genetic sequence of the isolated virus was similar among all the initial patients from Wuhan, which clearly indicate that the outbreak began from a single point introduction among the humans. At present, it is critical to understand about the origin of the virus, as it is a novel viral infection. These findings will aid us in getting significant insights about the start of the outbreak or the origin of the virus and thus we will be able to mount a better public health emergency response. In conclusion, in order to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital to identify the source of the virus and then take appropriate prevention and control measures, otherwise there is always a potential risk of reintroduction of the virus in the future once again and then once again we might be facing the challenge of containing the outbreak.

Keywords: Bat, COVID-19 pandemic, world health organization, wuhan


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic: Tracing the source of viral infection and minimizing the possibility of reintroduction of virus in human population. Matrix Sci Med 2020;4:132-3

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic: Tracing the source of viral infection and minimizing the possibility of reintroduction of virus in human population. Matrix Sci Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 21];4:132-3. Available from: https://www.matrixscimed.org/text.asp?2020/4/4/132/297629




  Introduction Top


The coronavirus disease2019 (COVID19) outbreak has overwhelmed the public health authorities and the healthcare delivery system of multiple nations, and in many places, the situation has become extremely challenging. This is clearly evident by the fact that till date, 4,170,424 cases and 287,399 deaths have been reported globally.[1] It is important to note that the European region and the American region together accounts for more than 85% of the global caseload.[1] From a public health perspective, it is crucial to note that the disease is no longer predominant in China, and its epicenter has shifted to multiple nations, with each nation being extremely susceptible to the disease and the associated deaths.[1]

Causative virus

The ongoing pandemic is caused by one of the virusessevere acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)CoV2, belonging to the coronaviruses family, which are linked with respiratory, enteric, or systemic forms of serious as well as mild infections among both humans and animals.[2] These viruses have been reported earlier in a wide range of domestic or wild animals and avian species. SARSCoV2, a zoonotic pathogenic virus belongs to the genera Betacoronarus and subgenus Sarbecovirus.[2],[3] Infact, the genetic sequence of the isolated virus was similar among all the initial patients from Wuhan, which clearly indicates that the outbreak began from a single point introduction among the humans.[3],[4] Moreover, it has been concluded that the causative virus has a natural origin and has not been constructed in a laboratory.[3]

Tracing the origin of infection

The epidemiological analysis of the initial cases reported from Wuhan city showed that most of the initial cases had some form of linkage with the seafood market in the city, and thus, the virus could have been introduced in humans either from an animal source in the market itself or from an infected human, and subsequently, the amplification of the virus would have happened in the market.[2],[3] As of now, we are not very much confident about the intermediate animal host, which could have acted as the agent between bats and humans, and there is not much certainty about the spillover event (viz., first time when the virus was transmitted from animals to humans), except of the fact that probably it would have occurred during the last quarter of 2019.[2],[3]

Strengthening research

At present, even though, we have many research priorities pertaining to the epidemiological, virological, and clinical attributes of the disease, but then, it is extremely essential to understand about the origin of the virus, as it is a novel viral infection. In order to identify the source or origin of the virus, among a lot of uncertainty, the first approach should be to compare the genetic makeup of SARSCoV2 with viruses which are already known from the same family.[3],[4] This is a feasible approach as it has been confirmed that all the viruses which are genetically similar usually have a similar source or place of origin.[3] The research findings have indicated that the virus which was isolated from the humans in the COVID19 outbreak was genetically very much similar to the virus which was isolated from the bat populations(belonging to Rhinolopus generaprevalent in the regions of Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Europe).[3],[5]

Need of the hour

The need of the hour is to identify the potential source and isolate the same and thus avert the possibility of introduction of the causative virus into humans once again in future.[2] Infact, these findings will aid us in getting significant insights about the start of the outbreak or the origin of the virus, and thus, we will be able to mount a better public health emergency response, and it will further aid in the development of the candidate vaccines and therapeutic drugs.[3] Moreover, environmental samplings should be taken from those animal markets or farms, wherein initial cases were reported, and it should be further supplemented by the detailed analysis of the types of animals farmed or sold in these markets.[2],[3] Further, it is crucial to carry out epidemiological investigation and indepth interviews of the cases which were reported initially, so that the exact location of the place of acquisition of infection can be traced. This will eventually save our lot of resources and time, and we can be more specific in our action plan and our efforts.[2],[3]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, in order to contain the COVID19 pandemic, it is vital to identify the source of the virus and then take appropriate prevention and control measures, otherwise, there is always a potential risk of reintroduction of the virus in future once again, and then, once again we might be facing the challenge of containing the outbreak.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 114. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation- reports/20200513-covid-19-sitrep-114.pdf?sfvrsn=17ebbbe_4. [Last accessed on 2020 May 14].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Malik YS, Sircar S, Bhat S, Sharun K, Dhama K, Dadar M, et al. Emerging novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)-current scenario, evolutionary perspective based on genome analysis and recent developments. Vet Q 2020;40:68-76.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. Origin of SARS-CoV-2 (26 March 2020). World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus/who-recommendations-to- reduce-risk-of-transmission-of-emerging-pathogens-from- animals-to- humans-in-live-animal-markets. [Last accessed on 2020 May 14].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Wu A, Peng Y, Huang B, Ding X, Wang X, Niu P, et al. Genome composition and divergence of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) originating in China. Cell Host Microbe 2020;27:325-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Zhou P, Yang XL, Wang XG, Hu B, Zhang L, Zhang W, et al. A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin. Nature 2020;579:270-3.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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