Interviewer: Professor Garcia-Sastre,
thank you for
doing this interview with us today
on the new SARS-CoV-2 virus.
What is the current knowledge on
the molecular biology of this new virus,
and how is it helping the development
of treatments and vaccinations?
Prof Garcia-Sastre: We know a lot about
the molecular biology of the virus due to
the work has been done
before with coronaviruses,
the virus replicates very
similarly to other coronaviruses.
There are some proteins that we know
the function of in the virus, some of
the proteins are more mysterious because
they don't have a specific homology
with proteins of other coronaviruses, but
for the majority of them we know a lot.
We know the surface protein which can be
the target of antibodies that will prevent
entry, so we know what antigen needs to
be included in vaccines thanks to that.
We know the virus receptor, so
we know what type of animal models we
can try to implement that
contain the right receptor.
There is some knowledge that we
already have from this virus, but
obviously it takes time to be able
to find whether some drugs work for
treatment, especially in
people that are infected.
It also takes some time to develop
a vaccine, but we know what
the targets are to induce antibodies
that are needed for the vaccine.
We also know the function
of some of the proteins,
that's the reason why some
of the HIV inhibitors that
are protease-inhibitors have been
tested with this coronavirus.
Coronaviruses have another protease, and
therefore potentially an inhibitor of