Bulgarian and Greek scientists are going to study the main characteristics of coronaviruses, the Bulgarian news agency BTA reports. The project is financed, on the Bulgarian side by the Education Ministry’s Scientific Research Fund in partnership with the Pasteur Institute in Athens.
The team includes specialists with broad experimental experience in human and veterinary medicine, pharmacy, biology, biophysics etc. In the course of 36 months, they will endeavour to clarify the pathogenesis and mechanisms of the tissue damage of the known coronaviruses (CoVs, including SARS-CoV-2).
At this stage little is known about the protein CD147-spike receptor of the host cells which have been established as a new route of entry for SARS-CoV-2.
This protein would be an additional target for the development of new antiviral preparations, as well as for reducing the pathogenic effect of these infections.
The project also aims to explain issues connected with the immune response in an experimental animal model – rabbits. A connection will be sought between coronavirus infections in animals and humans, and effective therapeutic strategies will be developed.