By Varun Anipindi

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. With over 121 million infections and 2.6 million deaths known worldwide, the novel coronavirus first described as SARS-CoV-2 in December 2019, has brought our lives and economy to a screeching halt. Yet, as we are rounding the corner and adapting to life in this new era, it is important to remember the unprecedented global convergence of the brightest scientific minds and resources which have created solutions to enable us to obtain the first glimpses of normalcy past this pandemic.

 

A review published by Carvalho T., Krammer F. and Iwasaki A. highlights some of the key events in SARS-CoV-2 immunology over the past 12 months that have helped us tackle the challenges of this pandemic. This review provides a chronology of events from the first cases of novel pneumonia in Wuhan city, to the discovery of the target receptor, and the cascade of immunological discoveries leading to the development of therapeutics and vaccines. It highlights some of the key aspects of the immune response that may help us further tease out the immune correlates associated with mild or severe COVID-19.

Overall, this article is a great summary of how far we have come in a short period and brings to light the importance of collaboration in science to meet global health challenges. Hopefully the lessons learnt will help us tackle not only this current pandemic but will also equip us to handle future health challenges.

 

Carvalho T, Krammer F, Iwasaki A. The first 12 months of COVID-19: a timeline of immunological insights. Nat Rev Immunol. 2021. DOI: 10.1038/s41577-021-00522-1.