Review Article

COVID-19 pandemic, recurrent outbreaks and prospects for assimilation of hCoV-19 into the human genome

Vinod Nikhra*

Published: 12 October, 2020 | Volume 4 - Issue 1 | Pages: 111-115

The outbreaks and resurgence: The disease which reportedly began in the Chinese city Wuhan in November-December 2019, soon spread to various parts of the world, and was named and declared a pandemic disease by WHO. While the European countries were recovering from the epidemic, the disease took hold in the USA, the South American countries, Arabian countries, and South Asian countries, predominantly affecting Brazil, Peru, Iran, and India. Presently, many European countries are witnessing a resurgence and recurrent outbreaks of COVID-19.

Spread and evolving new insights: Whereas there is workplace-related infection rise as people are returning to their offices, in other places the outbreaks are related to the people crowding and meeting care-freely and trying to resort back to their earlier way of life. The reopening of the educational facilities across the continents may make matters worse.

Impact on health and healthcare: Most cases of COVID-19 infections go unnoticed and are followed by self-recovery. But what may appear good from the clinical perspective, appears to complicate epidemiological efforts to contain the outbreak. With the evolving information about the disease, there seem to be certain possible outcomes such as control and containment, or the persistence of the disease as global endemic accompanied with outbreaks and resurgent episodes.

Gnetic factors linked to disease severity: With the COVID-19 pandemic, not all infected patients develop a severe respiratory illness. Further, there is a large variation in disease severity, which may be due to the genetic factors underlying the variable response to the virus. It is becoming clear that apart from the advanced age and pre-existing conditions, certain genetic constituent factors render some patients more vulnerable to the more severe forms of the diseases.

Integration of virus into human genome: A significant part of the human genome is derived from viruses especially the RNA viruses. In fact, about 8 percent of the human genome is made up of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), which are viral gene sequences that have become a permanent part of the human lineage after they infected our ancient ancestors. With this background, a novel concept emerging that if COVID-19 persists for several generations, its genetic material is projected to be integrated or assimilated into human genome. The involved mechanisms are conceptualized through the transposons or transposable elements of the SARS-CoV-2.

Read Full Article HTML DOI: 10.29328/journal.ijcv.1001025 Cite this Article Read Full Article PDF


ACE-2 receptors; COVID-19 pandemic; Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) ; Genetic factors; hCoV-19; Proofreading proteins; RNA viruses; SARSCoV-2; Transposons; VIPs


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