Scientists find tailor-made pocket feature shared by coronaviruses causing severe disease

Updated: Nov 26 2022 5:31PM

London, Nov 26 (PTI) Scientists have discovered that a tailor-made pocket within the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is capable of binding itself to the human cell surface, is what results in some coronaviruses causing severe disease.

An international team of researchers scrutinised the spike glycoproteins decorating all coronaviruses. During the study, the researchers found that while the tailor-made pocket was present in all deadly coronaviruses, including MERS and Omicron, the feature was missing in variants which cause mild infection with cold-like symptoms.

Researchers of the study, led by University of Bristol, said their findings could lead to the development of a treatment to defeat all coronaviruses -- from the 2002 SARS-CoV outbreak to Omicron, the current variant of SARS-CoV-2, and dangerous variants that may emerge in future.