A virus is a submicroscopic infectious agent that needs living cells like humans, animals, plants and even other microorganisms including bacteria for budding. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria which contain DNA or RNA genome.
The zoonotic coronavirus infects humans through the respiratory route – nasal cavity via pharynx to lung tissue. The viruses bind with epithelial cells, the outer cover of the respiratory tract membrane, like flu viruses causing fever, throat pain, sneezing and coughing etc. The viruses are so contagious that they can spread up exponentially from an infected person to the next. Mostly respiratory droplets of infected people spread the infection to others by inhalation or by touching the particles fallen on the surface of objects (mouth, nose and eyes).
It is undeniable that, if nature is oppressed, they do not delay to repress. Changing food habits especially avoiding uncooked and undercooked foods, eating wild animals, killing and destroying ecosystems are the crucial factors in inviting the deadly attack of viruses. Even though antiviral drugs are available for specific viral infections, but they have been found less effective in the treatment of this novel coronavirus disease.
The pandemic of novel coronavirus has changed the entire world even in this modern age. Lifestyle, health hygiene, healthcare facilities and healthcare industries etc. are the cornerstones of the wellbeing of the world ahead. Information technology contributed tremendously in contact tracing people in some countries like South Korea. Molecular diagnostic platforms and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology laid its commendable footprint above all.
Medical scientists say, to eradicate the viral disease only effective vaccines can be the strongest of all weapons, and hence, the giant biotechnology companies of the world are working relentlessly. The entire world is waiting for the light from the darkness of coronavirus. The question is, will they be able to meet the demand of the whole world? Probably not, as they will meet their own need first and there is nothing wrong here if so. But what are the lessons for the rest of the world and the developing countries like Bangladesh?
Now is the moment to make factual decisions by the government and private entities, how they can start building a robust weapon to fight against this invisible enemy. Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) has become widely popular these days due to its significant specificity and accuracy in the detection of this tiny organism. Apart from viral detection, there are many more diseases that need this PCR technology too. Establishment of molecular diagnostic laboratories, point of care DNA sequencing facilities and manufacturing of molecular diagnostic kits, etc. are pivotal factors for disease detection in the future. Genome sequencing of novel coronavirus on Bangladeshi population is highly desirable to know the pattern and pathogenicity of the virus.
One day this pandemic will end, but we cannot ascertain that another mighty one will not come. There are millions of bacteria and viruses that remain out of the research loop. Molecular diagnostic industries and biotechnology companies can contribute immensely against those diseases ahead of us to make the world ready to tackle them.
The writer is the CEO of NIPRO JMI Pharma Ltd. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org