In this rapid commentary, a mini-review is given of the present state-of-knowledge regarding the etiology and epidemiology of the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV and the risks for developing Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The available knowledge on the viral genomics, molecular biology and pathogenicity of viruses of the Coronaviridae family and other Nidovirales, forms a helpful template for understanding the present pandemic outbreak. However, important questions remain unanswered about the underlying mechanism causing the very high case fatality ratios (CFR) and mechanisms regarding severe reactions like ARDS, fatal cardiac and renal failures, associated with a number of important comorbidity factors. Immunological reactions to lung alveoles in particular (involving lung macrophages and alveolar epithelial cell damage) in late phase ARDS in SARS-like CoV diseases, so far may not have received enough attention. Finally a shortlist of questions for high priority further research is suggested.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Acute respiratory distress syndrome, Angiotensin converting enzyme 2, COVID-19 (2019-nCoV), Lung immunopathology, MERS, SARS
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10441-020-09382-z, hdl.handle.net/1765/126620
Journal Acta Biotheoretica
Citation
Allaerts, W. (2020). How Could This Happen?: Narrowing Down the Contagion of COVID-19 and Preventing Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). Acta Biotheoretica. doi:10.1007/s10441-020-09382-z