Authors: EŞREF DEMİR
Abstract: The world urgently needs effective antiviral approaches against emerging viruses, as shown by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has become an exponentially growing health crisis. Scientists from diverse backgrounds have directed their efforts towards identifying key features of SARS-CoV-2 and clinical manifestations of COVID-19 infection. Reports of more transmissible variants of SARS-CoV-2 also raise concerns over the possibility of an explosive trajectory of the pandemic, so scientific attention should focus on developing new weapons to help win the fight against coronaviruses that may undergo further mutations in the future. Drosophila melanogaster offers a powerful and potential in vivo model that can significantly increase the efficiency of drug screening for viral and bacterial infections. Thanks to its genes with functional human homologs, Drosophila could play a significant role in such gene-editing studies geared towards designing vaccines and antiviral drugs for COVID-19. It can also help rectify current drawbacks of CRISPR-based therapeutics like off-target effects and delivery issues, representing another momentous step forward in healthcare. Here I present an overview of recent literature and the current state of knowledge, explaining how it can open up new avenues for Drosophila a in our battle against infectious diseases.
Keywords: Drosophila melanogaster, COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, human disease models, CRISPR-Cas systems
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