Microbiology Today October 2021: SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 now available online

12 October 2021


The October 2021 edition of Microbiology Today is available to read online now. This issue, titled ‘SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19’, showcases microbiologists’ collaborative efforts to build our understanding of SARS-CoV-2, since its emergence, to improve COVID-19 management and prevention.

The first featured article of this issue is from Keith Grehan, who provides background of the molecular virology of SARS-CoV-2 and what makes it unique to other betacoronaviruses, whilst exploring the rise of mutants.

Alan McNally shares his experience of setting up the UK’s first SARS-CoV-2 testing ‘mega lab’ to meet the country’s urgent demands. With a group of university researchers, who put their careers on pause and were operating 12-hour shifts, the lab was able to complete 50,000 tests per day.

As scientists worked in the fight against COVID-19, genomics played a crucial role by making SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data publicly available around the world. In his article, Colman O’Cathail reflects on the ongoing work of bioinformaticians to rapidly archive large volumes of data.

At the beginning of the pandemic, loss of taste and smell were commonly reported symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection. David H. Edwards and Alexander Gardner take a look behind the sensory disturbances, which proved to be an important element of understanding the spread of COVID-19.

Jane Hilton and Catherine S. Adamson focus on the quest for effective COVID-19 treatment in their article. Whilst providing a timeline of treatment development during the pandemic, they review the successes and failures of different treatment strategies.

With a focus on face coverings and vaccines, Grace Roberts reflects on how increased public engagement within science could have mitigated fears and misconceptions during the pandemic.

In the Comment article for this issue, Tim Inglis writes on the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the consequences of vaccine imperialism and the current lack of support for lower-income countries.

This issue also contains details on the 2022 events programme, an Early Career Microbiologists’ Forum update, a member Q&A with Phillip Yates, a spotlight on our International Development Fund and more.


Image: Annabel Slater/MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research. .