Getting to know SARS-CoV-2

Getting to know SARS-CoV-2

The foundations laid by basic research have been paramount in the development of effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, as well as in the classification of useful treatments to tackle COVID-19 disease.

The design of tools to combat the virus it is not possible without prior knowledge of how the virus works. For this reason, the research groups at IrsiCaixa are devoting a great deal of effort to describing how the different parts of SARS-CoV-2 interact with the cells of our body, and what implications this interaction has on the progression of the infection and the course of the disease. Detailed study of how the virus works will allow us to anticipate disease progression and be better prepared for future pandemics that may emerge.

Virus-host interactions

SARS-CoV-2, like any other virus, requires a cell (host) in order to multiply and, therefore, perpetuate itself in the population. IrsiCaixa, given the obvious need to study the mechanisms involved in the interactions between the virus and the host, is working to find ways to attack the virus and prevent its replication.

Studying new variants

With the aim of exhaustively monitoring the SARS-CoV-2 variants that are appearing, and to be able to describe the different mutations that characterise them, IrsiCaixa has systematised the process of complete sequencing of SARS-CoV-2, describing the entire genome of about 200 virus samples per week.

Thanks to the knowledge obtained, the Institute has designed pseudoviruses, that is, artificial viruses developed in the laboratory that simulate some of the most prevalent variants at present, such as the one described in England and South Africa, with the aim of studying how effective the immune response to these new versions of the virus is. In parallel, possible mutations are being studied to characterise future variants that may emerge.


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Irsi Caixa

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'La Caixa' Foundation Generalitat de Catalunya - Departament de Salut


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