The novel coronavirus-2019, associated (COVID-19) disease and its implications to human race has made a wide concerns for Governments and policymakers all across the globe to realise the importance of ecosystem. While we have entered in to an era of advance technology and automation at every horizon of our life and work with more machines and digitisation, we must not forget how we have originated and evolved from. The nature which itself carries an abundance of unexplored informations present in encoded form in living as well as in inanimate objects are sill needed to be well understand and figure out. The existence of human being, culture and society is just a few thousands years old however the friendship and battle with microorganism is millions of years old. Hence preserving our natural resources and preventing man made machine evolution to effect our natural interaction with the ecosystem and its components like other animal species are as important as our dependency on technological evolution.
As per World health Organization (WHO) the pandemic novel Coronavirus has created a Global concern which has made it a major health crisis in media headlines all around the world since December-2019. Day by day, a new country in different continents are reporting a new cases of infected individuals. As per latest briefing on COVID-19 cases on 25th March till now in more than 200 countries 470,000 individuals have been infected with the novel coronavirus -19 as per reports of world health organisation (WHO) and centre for disease control and prevention (CDC). The death toll has surpassed 21000.
While the latest online media resources have reported that infected cases might have surpassed 470.000 globally however the reports are varying from 465,000 to 490,000 by 26th March 2020.
The world economy has been impacted by the outbreak. International and National Businesses are suffering due to virus outbreak. President Trump has declare a national emergency to fight the outbreak of novel coronavirus in USA.
These national and international agencies (CDC, WHO, UNO) with experts of the fields are setting up the ways to prevent the spreading of infection and have formulated a set of protocols, various guidelines and policies for effective measure to control.
With all these disasters scientists all across the globes are working hard to come up with a fast, and easy diagnostic tool with mass population coverage, Various Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are trying to develop vaccines and therapeutics based on the already existing limited knowledge and resources. However the drug development and scale up is a time taking process so efficacy and selectivity will be a question however any effort should be appreciated.
The team of medical professionals and Epidemiologist are doing deep and careful analysis to figure out its origin and infectious power which could be easily understood with the critical analysis of data and knowledge of earlier similar known viral outbreak occurred in the last couple of decades for example SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) of 2003 first appeared in Southern China, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) of 2012 and SARS-like CoVs. Meanwhile the disease (COVID-19) has expanded and speeded its infectious outbreak all across the globe and showed its importance to human race and planet for destroying ecosystem.
As per a study published in Cell host and microbes (February 7) the annotated 2019-nCoV genomes when compared with SARS coronavirus, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV the data gives the idea on what protein differences are important for virulence and transmissibility in humans where structural proteins are very highly conserved, whereas accessory proteins are generally unique to each specific group of coronaviruses. Still novel coronavirus does not show similarity of their proteins to other coronaviruses harbour by bat. These groups of viruses exist as a distribution of mutants in their respective animal species. When accidentally get transmitted to adaptable host environment they switch over themselves to show antigenic shift of their surface glycoproteins and other accessory proteins. The high mutation rate due to recombination and intrinsic genetic changes fuels adaptation as well.
As per “report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” of 20 February 2020 the whole genome sequencing analysis of number of strains of COVID-19 virus isolated from patients in different regions have been shown have 99.9% homology which indicated that the same virus is outbreaking everywhere.
The virus which primarily came from Wuhan Chinese province has given us a challenge to understand the Planet earth and its ecosystem. The way it emerged as a threat to human race and created the global catastrophe in terms of affecting globalisation, societies and national cultures, is probing us to think and solve such challenges with the integration of nature and animal world together including human species. Forest conservation which is drastically decreasing due to more urbanisation has created a panic of animal and bird species to get integrate and harmonize with producers (plants) to maintain their level in food chain with in ecosystem. When this level get affected for example by the deforestation which is one of many causes that microflora and virus burden which are otherwise tolerant to particular animal species earlier inhabitant in, get unavoidable access to other level in food chain through recombination and genetic drift of their genome (chromosomes) to produce new host receptor recognition proteins. This in turn lead to increase their virulence and infectious capabilities across new species. The mechanisms enable virus to expand and speed its infectious capability all across the globe with travel, human-human contact and human inanimate objects contact. Even though its pathological effects are not as much severe as it was observed with Ebola outbreak of 2014, the dormancy and spreadability is quite high despite fact that both of them containing single strand RNA and proved to be transmitted from bats to human beings. So question arises why one is highly pathogenic while other is highly contagious that restrict human being to even touch his own body parts. However Both the viruses carrying a RNA dependent RNA polymerase which transcribe RNA genome to final proteins involved in virus assembly and infections, the answer could be understood and lies in the orientation of their RNA genome. The ebola virus carries a negative stranded RNA genome while the coronavirus-2019 has a positive stranded RNA genome. Even though their surface morphology and structural dimensions are far apart, the surface glycoprotein which require for infection are similar in some way and is require for viral cell particle to get access to the human cell for further action.
In case of negative strand RNA genome containing Ebola virus however the RNA dependent RNA polymerase complex block transcription of any other protein when in replication mode the characteristic highly desirable for virus machinery to get involve in destruction of host cellular machinery i.e. for pathogenicity. However high rate of genetic drift makes Ebola virus a deadliest pathogenic virus.
Hence there is an on-off switch mechanism is is hidden in the selfish genome of RNA viruses which is playing and tuning the frequency with environment. The phenomenons might operate with different extent in different hosts which make them sometime more adaptable, sometime more contagious while other time pathogenic by selection and operation of antigenic shift and genetic drift. These phenomenons make them fit and spread themselves in ecosystem at different hierarchical levels.