I have heard that the Coronavirus family have a proofreading and editing function in their polymerase enzymes which can recognize and excise mutations. This is obviously disastrous for the population of infected individuals. Is this true, and if so, would it be possible to knock out the proofreading and editing subunit selectively so that the mutational burden would progressively increase in the viral population ? Could this then lead to something like Muller's Ratchet and dampen the virulence in the population or would there still be a mechanism to remove the mutated viruses from the population and retain the virulence over time?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to SE Biology. Please finish reading the tour and check the help on writing good questions. You will find that you are expected to research a topic for an answer before posting, ask one question at a time, and make sure that questions relate to problems in biology. If your question is whether coronavirus polymerases proofread and edit, then that is one question. If not, you need to cite references that it is so. That would leave a question that is not a question but a suggestion for an anti-viral strategy, which is off-topic here. $\endgroup$ – David Aug 17 '20 at 8:47
  • $\begingroup$ Not an answer but the keywords are exonuclease and nsp14. You could look up how lopinavir and remdesivir work and how ribavirin does not work. $\endgroup$ – jinawee Aug 17 '20 at 22:27

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