Ciotti M, et al. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 2020.
In December 2019, an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown origin was reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Pneumonia cases were epidemiologically linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Inoculation of respiratory samples into human airway epithelial cells, Vero E6 and Huh7 cell lines, led to the isolation of a novel respiratory virus whose genome analysis showed it to be a novel coronavirus related to SARS-CoV, and therefore named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 is a betacoronavirus belonging to the subgenus Sarbecovirus. The global spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the thousands of deaths caused by coronavirus disease (COVID-19) led the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic on 12 March 2020. To date, the world has paid a high toll in this pandemic in terms of human lives lost, economic repercussions and increased poverty. In this review, we provide information regarding the epidemiology, serological and molecular diagnosis, origin of SARS-CoV-2 and its ability to infect human cells, and safety issues. Then we focus on the available therapies to fight COVID-19, the development of vaccines, the role of artificial intelligence in the management of the pandemic and limiting the spread of the virus, the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on our lifestyle, and preparation for a possible second wave.