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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 381-382

CRISPR-Cas13 technology against COVID-19: A Perspective of genomic variations and therapeutic options

Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, School of Life Sciences, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission17-Jul-2020
Date of Decision19-Jul-2020
Date of Acceptance21-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication15-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ramith Ramu
Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, School of Life Sciences, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysore - 570 015, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_171_20

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How to cite this article:
Patil SM, Ramu R. CRISPR-Cas13 technology against COVID-19: A Perspective of genomic variations and therapeutic options. Int J Health Allied Sci 2020;9:381-2

How to cite this URL:
Patil SM, Ramu R. CRISPR-Cas13 technology against COVID-19: A Perspective of genomic variations and therapeutic options. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Jun 7];9:381-2. Available from: https://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2020/9/4/381/298115


We read the article by Abbott et al. 2020[1] with great interest which we found is very beneficial and the study is opportune and compelling in terms of its novel concept during these days of COVID-19 pandemic. With the absence of specific therapeutic agents, the SARS-CoV-2 appears to be spreading all over the globe. On the other hand, several genome sequencing efforts have revealed the occurrence of mutations, to worsen the situation. This letter is written to highlight the use of CRISPR-Cas13 technology by Abbott et al. in 2020 that has proved an efficient tool to combat SARS-CoV-2 amid concerns about the occurring mutations that may hamper the production of therapeutic agents.

In the wake of COVID-19 extensive lethality, researchers attributed the pathogenicity and transmission, which, in turn, indicated the genome of SARS-CoV-2 as the chief source.[2] Although initial studies deciphered the structural features, further reports on genome sequencing highlighted the presence of considerable amount of mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome. These mutations have been reported to be present on different stages of the viral life cycle, making it difficult for the therapeutic agents to track down and inhibit the target.[3] Several studies have reported the employment of pharmacotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic agents to tackle the virus, which included the usage of drugs used for the treatment of viral diseases such as HIV-1, Ebola, influenza, and hepatitis A and B.[4],[5] In addition, some of the herbal products have also been analyzed for the medicinal content against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.[6] However, the inflating death rates all over the globe continue to reach new heights with these available therapeutic options, due to the recurrent mutations.

To avoid such detrimental effects, through this letter we suggest that it is better to modify the currently therapeutic agents according to the detected variations of the virus, with the usage of bioinformatic tools such as homology modeling, rather designing novel therapeutics. We strongly emphasize on the usage of CRISPR-Cas13 technology that is currently used to detect the mutations as well as to develop a therapy with no drugs. For example, employment of Cas13 with Combinatorial Arrayed Reactions for Multiplexed Evaluation of Nucleic acids effectively detected SARS-CoV-2.[7] Furthermore, the usage of Prophylactic Antiviral CRISPR in Human Cells strategy along with CRISPR-Cas13 has shown effective degradation of both influenza A and SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes. Designing and using of CRISPR-RNAs (crRNAs) targeting SARS-CoV-2 has revealed that these crRNAs efficiently target the viral genome of SARS-CoV-2.[1] We conclude that with the help of genome sequencing and other bioinformatic tools and a better understanding about novel methodologies such as CRISPR-Cas13, one can reduce the ruinous effects of COVID-19.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Abbott TR, Dhamdhere G, Liu Y, Lin X, Goudy L, Zeng L, et al. Development of CRISPR as an antiviral strategy to combat SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. Cell 2020;181:865-76.  Back to cited text no. 1
Chen Y, Liu Q, Guo D. Emerging coronaviruses: Genome structure, replication, and pathogenesis. J Med Virol 2020;92:418-23.  Back to cited text no. 2
Naqvi AA, Fatima K, Mohammad T, Fatima U, Singh IK, Singh A, et al. Insights into SARS-CoV-2 genome, structure, evolution, pathogenesis and therapies: Structural genomics approach. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis 2020;13:165878.  Back to cited text no. 3
Barlow A, Landolf KM, Barlow B, Yeung SYA, Heavner JJ, Claassen CW, et al. Review of emerging pharmacotherapy for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019. Pharmacotherapy 2020;40:416-37.  Back to cited text no. 4
McCreary EK, Pogue JM. Coronavirus disease 2019 Treatment: A review of early and emerging options. In: Open Forum Infectious Diseases. Vol. 7. US: Oxford University Press; 2020. p. ofaa105.  Back to cited text no. 5
Huang YF, Bai C, He F, Xie Y, Zhou H. Review on the potential action mechanisms of Chinese medicines in treating Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Pharmacol Res 2020;158:104939.  Back to cited text no. 6
Ackerman CM, Myhrvold C, Thakku SG, Freije CA, Metsky HC, Yang DK, et al. Massively multiplexed nucleic acid detection with Cas13. Nature 2020;582:277-82.  Back to cited text no. 7

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