29 April 2020
Vol 12, Issue 541

About The Cover

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ONLINE COVER Emerging Antivirals. Bats can harbor viruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that are primed for zoonotic transmission to humans. As SARS-CoV-2 wreaks havoc across the globe, scientists are scrambling to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics to detect and treat this dangerous pathogen. Sheahan et al. now test the ability of a broad-spectrum antiviral drug to inhibit multiple bat-derived coronaviruses in cells and mice. Testing in primary human airway epithelial cell cultures showed efficacy of this drug against SARS-CoV-2 as well as blunted disease in mice infected with related coronaviruses. The drug, a ribonucleoside analog that disrupts viral RNA replication, can be administered orally as a pill and potentially could provide broad coverage to combat coronaviruses and other RNA viruses. [CREDIT: CHIEN LEE/MINDEN PICTURES]