Journal of Biomedical and Biological Sciences

A Review on Novel Coronavirus Covid-19: Its Detection and Vaccination

Isha Ishtiaq1*ORCID ID, Sana Shahzadi1, Ayesha Afzal1, Sara Khan1, Zoya Ahmed1, Saman Gulrez1, Mohsin Nawaz1, Momina Sajjad2 and Nimra Razzaq1

1Department of Biotechnology, University of Sialkot, Sialkot, Pakistan.

2Department of Microbiology, University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

*Corresponding Author: Ishtiaq I, Department of Biotechnology, University of Sialkot, Sialkot, Pakistan. E-mail:

Citation: Ishtiaq I, Shahzadi S, Afzal A, Khan S, Ahmed Z et al. A Review on Novel Coronavirus Covid-19: Its Detection and Vaccination. Journal of Biomedical and Biological Sciences. 2021;1(1):1-10.

Copyright: © 2021 Ishtiaq I, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Received On: 6th July,2021     Accepted On: 22nd November,2021    Published On: 2nd December,2021


Coronaviruses are enveloped, non-segmented, positive single stranded RNA viruses. In the history, SARS CoV have caused about 774 deaths globally with 8096 reported cases in 2003. MERS CoV (Middle eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus) pandemic resulted in 33.5% fatality rate worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 genome consists of 5′ untranslated region (5’UTR) and a replicase complex (orflab1) that encodes non-structural proteins (nps). About 5.06 million people have died of covid-19. Covid-19 transmission occurs more in closed environments than in open-air environments. High temperature and high humidity can greatly reduce the transmission of virus. Most common symptoms are fever, cough and fatigue but there are also unique symptoms like sneezing and sore throat. Covid-19 has created a devastating effect on the whole world. Its early detection is necessary to control the rapid spread of the disease. Computed tomography (CT) cannot detect the disease at early stages, so AI-based approaches are preferred. Many vaccines have been developed to protect against covid-19. There were 1,273,560 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan between 3 January 2020 and 2 November 2021. A total of 103,238,614 vaccine doses has been administered as of 30 October 2021.  Covid-19 Vaccine hesitancy is however, a global concern that affects both rich and poor countries. Identifying COVID-19 vaccine reluctance might aid in the design of public education initiatives aimed at improving vaccination acceptance behaviours. Fake news regarding the Coronavirus vaccines misleads the public’s perception, making it difficult to limit the virus and gain public trust.

Keywords: Covid-19, Vaccine, Hesitancy, Detection techniques, SARS-CoV


Coronaviruses are well-known virus that have cause severe respiratory diseases in recent years globally. SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) have caused about 774 deaths globally with 8096 reported cases in 2003. In 2012, MERS CoV (Middle eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus) pandemic resulted in 33.5% fatality rate worldwide [1-3]. Coronaviruses belong to family Coronaviridae and are RNA enveloped viruses. They are usually found in mammals causing various gastro and respiratory diseases. Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E), HCoV-OC43 and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) have been studied in detail and were identified to cause common cold [1].

In December 2019, a novel coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, China. By the end of 2019 and the start of 2020, multiple cases of novel coronavirus were reported. After the whole genome sequencing of Covid-2019, WHO named pathogen causing the Covid-19 diseases as SARS-CoV-2 [4,5]. It was named so because it was found that covid-19 belongs to family of beta coronavirus related severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus [6,7]. Because of uncontrolled and rapid spread of virus, WHO declared it as global pandemic. About 5 million people have died from covid-19 till now. This novel coronavirus had proved such a destructive virus that caused thousands of deaths worldwide. It has destroyed the world’s economy and have pushed people into severe depression. But the proper treatment against virus is still unknown. However, some vaccines have been developed to prevent the attack of virus [8-12]. WHO has issued a list of approved vaccines. Now vaccines are being administered worldwide.

Covid-19 has also raised the anxiety and depression in the society. The implementation of quarantine measures used to combat the pandemic also impacted on quality of life on both an individual and social level [13-17]. The COVID-19 pandemic not only endangered human safety and physical health, but it also created psychological problems in the cultures affected by the crisis, resulting in millions of fatalities globally. Individuals have developed anxiety disorders such as somatization, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and depression as a result of this pandemic [18-20].

In this review, we have discussed the basic structure, detection methods and vaccines available for novel covid-19.


Coronaviruses are enveloped, non-segmented, positive single stranded RNA viruses. It possesses large viral RNA genomes. SARS-CoV-2 genome consists of 5’ untranslated region (5’UTR) and a replicase complex (orflab1) that encodes non-structural proteins (nps). Four major structural proteins are encoded by coronavirus genome; the spike protein (S protein), nucleocapsid protein (N protein), membrane protein (M protein) and the envelope protein (E protein) [3,5]. All these proteins are required to produce complete structure of viral particle. The function of S protein is attachment and fusion of virus with host cell receptors facilitating the entry of viral genome in host [3-5]. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2) is a host cell entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and spike protein binds with ACE2 and virus gets entry in the host cell [18]. N protein is phosphorylated that primarily bind CoV RNA genome and makes nucleocapsid. The M protein act as structural organizer in CoV assembly and is one of the most abundant structural proteins. It is a type II transmembrane glycoprotein and determines the shape of viral envelope. The E protein is the smallest protein that is expressed in infected cell during the replication cycle [3-5, 9]. Coronavirus exhibits crown-like appearance. (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Structure of Coronavirus particle. Enveloped, positive stranded RNA viruses. Size- 26-32kbs.

There is a multi-subunit machinery for replication and transcription in coronaviruses. RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) that is also known as nsp12 is an essential component that catalyses the synthesis of viral RNA and play a major role in replication and transcription of covid-19. Therefore, nsp12 can be considered as primary target for antiviral drugs against covid-19 infections [8].


It was identified that covid-19 transmission occurs more in closed environments than in open-air environments. Primary cases caused the secondary transmission of virus which resulted in spread of virus. It was observed that reduction in close-interactions can cause reduction in spread of virus [10]. In a study, it was observed that high temperature and high humidity can greatly reduce the transmission of covid-19. It was observed that transmission of covid-19 reduced in northern hemisphere when summer and rainy season came [11]. Transmission of covid-19 is much higher than previous viruses like SARS and MERS as one infected person transmits the virus to other two or three people [15]. Covid-19 transmission occurs from person to person in the form of microdroplets at short distances through sneezing or coughing. Retrospective analysis showed that SARS-CoV-2 results in airborne transmission of virus at shorter distances [12]. So, to reduce the transmission of virus we should avoid overcrowding, gatherings etc.


It was observed that most common symptoms of covid-19 disease are fever, cough and fatigue. Production of sputum, headache, haemoptysis, diarrhoea, dyspnoea, and lymphopenia are some others symptoms. It was studied that covid-19 illness showed great similarity to previous beta coronaviruses but there are also some unique symptoms like sneezing and sore throat. Coronavirus infection causes both systematic and respiratory disorders [19].

Figure 2. Disorders caused due to covid-19 infection

Detection methods

As we know that Covid-19 has created a devastating effect on the whole world. Its early detection is necessary to control the rapid spread of the disease. There are several techniques that have been used for detection of coronavirus. The most common technique used is real time RT-PCR (Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction). But RT-PCR is relatively less sensitive about 60-70%. Some other detection techniques are described.

Artificial Intelligence based Detection

Artificial intelligence-based approaches are helpful in detection of covid-19 with greater sensitivity. Computed tomography (CT) is an advanced technique used in detection of covid-19 illness. This technique is widely used in different countries. It is stated that artificial intelligence-based approaches can reduce many disadvantages like cost, RT-PCR test kits and time [13, 17]. In a study, CT scans were performed and identified using AI based algorithms to detect covid-19 pneumonia. Due to rapid increase in covid-19 patients, CT based on artificial intelligence deep learning programs was effective in detection of covid-19 with greater sensitivity and specificity [17]. In another study, deep learning neural networks were used for robust detection of covid-19 disease.  In this deep learning model, chest X-ray images were required. This model was trained with 125 X-Ray images and diagnostics were performed. One of the most important advantage of this X-ray radiography that it gives faster results and patients don’t have to wait for a long time. On the other hand, computed tomography (CT) cannot detect the covid-19 disease at early stages. Moreover, CT is expensive and patients received more amount of radiation as compared to X-ray. So deep learning model with X-ray radiography is preferred over CT because patients receive less radiations and it is easy approach [13].

DNA-Nano scaffold-based detection

DNA Nano-scaffold based detection of covid-19 involves the use of long DNA strands and probes. In a research, DNA nano scaffold-based hybrid chain reaction (DNHCR) method was employed to detect covid-19. This technique was more advantageous as compared to previously used methods because it provides high signal and high specificity, it is less time-consuming and cost-effective and is readily accessible. In this technique, DNA nano scaffold were constructed by self-assembly of DNA strands and probes like H1. Then, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was hybridized and reaction proceeded along DNA nano scaffold. The results showed that reaction time and cost was greatly reduced and high signal was gained with 15oC-35oC temperature range [14].

RNA-based detection

For rapid detection of covid-19, a novel closed tube covid-19 assay was performed. Closed-tube Penn-RAMP is an isothermal dsDNA amplification method consisting of two stages: Recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) and loop-mediated amplification (LAMP). When compared to LAMP, Penn-RAMP was more convenient and need less energy cost. Recently, a new point of care (POC) RNA-based diagnostic device was developed to detect covid-19. In this paper-based POC device was combined with LAMP technology. One of the most important advantage of this device was that it can be integrated with smartphone. It is a faster, sensitive and most convenient diagnostic device [15].

Detection using CRISPR-based SHERLOCK technique

SHERLOCK stands for Specific High Sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter Unlocking. CRISPR-based SHERLOCK technique utilizes RNA fragments of covid-19 virus. In a paper, protocol of CRISPR-based SHERLOCK technique was given. It is stated that this technique consists of three steps and time of completion is about 1 hour. S gene and orflab1 were chosen as targets from covid-19 genome [16].

Figure 3. Steps of SHERLOCK protocol

Detection using transistor-base biosensor

Field-effect transistor (FET) based biosensor is a device that can be used for effective and rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2.  They are highly sensitive and can give rapid results using small number of reagents. In a study, graphene-based bio-sensing device was fabricated. Graphene is most suitable material due to high conductivity, mobility and high specific area. Graphene-based biosensors were cross-linked with SARS-CoV-2 spike antibody. Among four structural proteins encoded by SARS-CoV-2, spike protein is best suitable target because of its diverse amino acid sequences and is a major transmembrane protein, thus SARS-CoV-2 is specifically detected. 1-pyrenebutyric acid N-hydroxy succinimide ester (PBASE) acts as a probe linker for immobilization of SARS-CoV-2 spike antibody. The limit of detection measured was 1fg/ml. This technique can be used for rapid and sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples e.g., nasopharyngeal swabs [18].

Vaccination of Covid-19 In Pakistan

To combat the deadly consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on mankind, it is essential to provide safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines and predict its negative effects in the population. On March 3, 2020, the first human clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccination began in the United States [21]. The first vaccine program started from December 2020 and now about 13 different vaccines are being administered in different countries and many other vaccines are in phase trials. Pfizer intended to manufacture two billion COVID-19 vaccine doses in 2021, AstraZeneca three billion, and Moderna one billion [22].

Figure 4: Vaccination statistics

According to WHO, there were 1,273,560 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan between 3 January 2020 and 2 November 2021, with 28,456 fatalities. A total of 103,238,614 vaccine doses has been administered as of 30 October 2021. Following are the stats given about Covid-19 vaccination status in Pakistan.

Vaccine Hesitancy in Pakistan

Vaccine hesitancy is a global concern that affects both rich and poor countries [23]. Approximately 90% of the nations reported some level of vaccination hesitancy [21]. Vaccine hesitancy has been identified by the WHO as one of the top ten global dangers to public health. Though the present literature on vaccination hesitancy is important in understanding the reasons, it is still too early to predict attitudes and behaviours toward the COVID-19 vaccine in the long term. Identifying COVID-19 vaccine reluctance might aid in the effective design of public education initiatives aimed at improving vaccination acceptance behaviours [21].

Fake news regarding the Coronavirus misleads the public’s perception of the pandemic, making it difficult to limit the virus and gain public trust in vaccinations. Many people in Pakistan assumed that the virus exclusively affected the elderly. Young people would be unaware of preventative steps as a result of this misperception [22-24]. The virus’s politicisation by linking it to serving Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s and Western nations’ interests caused even more uncertainty and disinformation, leading to the denial that there is no Coronavirus. The reports that the government receives a set amount of money for declaring each death caused by COVID-19 fuelled the belief among certain organisations that the virus is a mechanism for the government to request support from the United States and other Western countries. Pakistanis frequently say things such, “There is no coronavirus,” “Is the coronavirus real?” and “Is the coronavirus real?” “I’ve never seen a coronavirus-infected individual,” “Coronavirus cannot damage Muslims,” “What can coronavirus do to us?” “Is the coronavirus a fact or an American plot to market vaccines and medicines?” Coronavirus conspiracies were frequent in rural areas of Pakistan, where just a few cases had been reported [24, 25].

List Of Vaccines Approved in Pakistan

About 39.9% of population is vaccinated worldwide. Following vaccines that are approved by WHO and being administered in Pakistan. Table 1 shows the detailed information about these vaccines [26].


Research name




Route of administration

Side effects

SpikeVax (Moderna)


mRNA Vaccine (nucleoside modified)


Two doses, 28 days apart

IM (Intramuscular)

pain and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, chills, fever, swollen or tender lymph nodes under the arm, headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting. Rarely myocarditis and pericarditis



mRNA Vaccine


Two doses, 21 days apart

IM (Intramuscular)

pain and swelling around the injection site, chills, fever, a headache, tiredness

Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)

Ad26.COV2. S

Non-Replicating Viral Vector

85.4% against severe disease & 93.1 % against hospitali-zation.

Single dose

IM (Intramuscular)

Pain, Redness, Swelling, Tiredness, Headache, Muscle pain, Chills, Fever, Nausea



Non-Replicating Viral Vector


Two doses, 8-12 weeks apart

IM (Intramuscular)

Pain or tenderness at the injection site
Muscle or joint aches
Fever, Chills, Nausea

Sinopharm (Beijing)

BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells)



Two doses, 3 weeks apart

IM (Intramuscular)

Pain at the injection site, Headache





Two doses, 14 days apart

IM (Intramuscular)

Pain at the injection site, headache, tiredness, muscle aches



Non-Replicating Viral Vector


Single Dose

IM (Intramuscular)

fever, redness, swelling and pain

Table 1. List of vaccines in Pakistan (Information is collected from WHO website)


Though the Covid-19 has greatly impacted the lives of humans and resulted in millions of deaths worldwide but now the situation is improving due to vaccine administration in many countries. Many people are still hesitant against vaccination but there should be awareness campaign. People should be guided and urged to administer vaccine to prevent the adverse effects of this deadly virus. People should understand that this virus has taken the lives of their many loved ones. We are still fighting with it but now the time has arrived that this virus should be diminished. For this purpose, we have to immunize ourselves against this virus. There is hope that soon there will be no virus and we shall live our lives normally without the fear of being attacked by this virus.


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