Background: As the outbreak of COVID-19 has accelerated, an urgent need for finding strategies to combat the
virus is growing. Thus, gaining more knowledge on the pathogenicity mechanism of SARS-CoV-2, the causing agent of
COVID-19, and its interaction with the immune system is of utmost importance. Although this novel virus is not well known
yet, its structural and genetic similarity with SARS-CoV as well as the comparable pattern of age-mortality relations suggest
that some previous findings on SARS could be applicable for COVID-19.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the most important signaling pathways activated by coronaviruses to
better understand the viral pathogenesis and host immune responses.
Method: Here, a systems biology study was conducted on a SARS database. It was followed by a literature review on the
Results: It was proved that interferons may possess a crucial role in the defense against coronavirus diseases. The literature
supported the validity of the employed approach and the notion that interferon induction could play a key role in the body
defense against coronavirus infections.
Conclusion: Altogether, administration of interferons or interferon-inducing agents in a prophylactic manner or at early
stages of the disease, could mimic the effective antiviral responses against SARS-CoV-2 and reduce the disease severity.
At later stages of the disease, however, the balance of the immune reactions would be disrupted and the responses would
shift toward immunopathogenic over-reactions, which could be exacerbated by interferon usage. Moderating the activity of
the immune system by anti-inflammatory agents, might be the optimum approach in such conditions.