Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Fogorvostudományi Kar, Szeged Orálbiológiai és Kísérletes Fogorvostudományi Tanszék, Szeged
This review outlines some of the basic observations related to coronaviruses infecting animals and describes – in a nutshell – the characteristics of human coronaviruses causing mild or severe respiratory diseases in infected individuals. A special attention is given to SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and to the pathomechanism of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which is also accompanied with multiorgan failure in a subset of infected patients. Recently discovered unique molecular features of SARS-CoV-2 are described as well. These molecular cues may affect human to human virus transmission whereas they are absent, remarkably, from the other lung-targeting highly pathogenic human coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV) which did not spread all over the world. The possibilities of active immunization to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of selective small molecule inhibitors curbing the replication of the virus are also touched upon. The review closes with a few remarks regarding the Hungarian and international recommendations concerning the treatment of SARSCoV-2 infected cancer patients.