HYDERABAD: With new cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) being reported across the world, Indian scientists have warned that the virus has the potential to become a pandemic. However, it has not reached pandemic proportions as local cases of person-to-person transmission are not present outside China. Most reported outside China have a travel history. The scientists have also expressed hope that an effective vaccine could soon be developed to prevent the disease.
In a first, a team of researchers at Centre for Advanced Research (CAFR), King George’s Medical University in Lucknow has shown that the present Coronavirus is closely related to SARS Coronavirus but differs in using new methods to avoid confrontation by the host’s (human) immune system.
The team has also studied the structure of the current virus in order to develop a peptide-based vaccine. The development comes as city-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) is busy finding a therapeutic molecule to fight the virus.
“…Our data provides the evidence that 2019-nCoV (novel coronavirus) uses various novel glycosylation sites as SARS-coronavirus and may have a potential to become pandemic owing to its antigenic discrepancy,” the researchers said in a study published in scientific journal, Virus Disease. Antigenic analysis shows great differences between both viral strains.