Novel coronavirus confirmed as causative agent of SARS

July 21, 2003

Leading scientists worldwide investigating the cause of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) confirm that a novel coronavirus is the primary cause of the disease. The study is published on THE LANCET's website (http://www.thelancet.com) at 0001 H Tuesday 22 July UK time.

SARS was first reported in China in November 2002, with over 8300 cases and 812 deaths reported by the beginning of July 2003. A novel coronavirus has been identified as the likely cause of SARS. Albert Osterhaus from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues investigated the causal role of this newly discovered SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) by analysis of the results of international investigations done by the WHO network of laboratories.

Clinical and postmortem samples were tested from 436 SARS patients in six countries for infection with SARS-CoV, human metapneumovirus, and other respiratory pathogens. As criteria for indentifying the primary cause of a disease include the production of a comparable disease in the original host or a related species, the investigators infected four macaques (Cynomolgus monkeys common in south-east Asia) with SARS-CoV. Necropsies were done on the sixth day after infection.

SARS-CoV infection was diagnosed in three-quarters of patients fitting the case definition of SARS; human metapneumovirus was diagnosed in 12% of cases and other respiratory pathogens were diagnosed only sporadically. The four SARS-CoV-infected macaques excreted SARS-CoV from nose, mouth, and pharynx from 2 days after infection.

Three of four macaques developed lung damage (diffuse alveolar damage), similar to that in SARS patients. SARS-CoV was detected in the alveolar areas of the lung by virus isolation from immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, and genetic assessment by polymerase chain reaction,.

Albert Osterhaus comments: "Collectively, these results of laboratory studies of SARS patients and experimental infections of macaques prove that the newly discovered SARS-CoV is the primary causal agent of SARS. Based on histopathologic and immunohistochemical analysis of postmortem tissues of these macaques, SARS-CoV infection primarily affects epithelium of the lower respiratory tract, with potentially severe consequences for respiratory function."
-end-
Contact: Professor Albert D M E Osterhaus, Institute of Virology, Erasmus University Rotterdam Room EE17-26 Dr Molenwaterplein 50, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, Netherlands; T) 0031-10-408-8066; F) 0031-10-408-9485; E) a.osterhaus@erasmusmc.nl.

Lancet

Related SARS Articles from Brightsurf:

SARS-CoV-2 mutations do not appear to increase transmissibility
None of the mutations currently documented in the SARS-CoV-2 virus appear to increase its transmissibility in humans, according to a study led by UCL researchers, published in Nature Communications.

Replication cycle of SARS-CoV-2 in 3D
Researchers have studied SARS-CoV-2 replication in cells and obtained detailed insights into the alterations induced in infected cells.

Folding of SARS-CoV2 genome reveals drug targets -- and preparation for 'SARS-CoV3'
For the first time, an international research alliance has observed the RNA folding structures of the SARS-CoV2 genome with which the virus controls the infection process.

Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 are detected up to 3 months after infection
The follow-up study in health care workers of the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona hopes to provide information on the duration of different antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and their role in protecting from disease and reinfection

New SARS-CoV-2 test is a simple, cost-effective, and efficient alternative for SARS-CoV-2 testing
Scientists from Northwell Health Laboratories have developed a new diagnostic multiplex assay that can be used for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management of COVID-19.

Immunological memory after cured Sars-CoV-2 infection
After recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection, immune cells are formed which remain in the body and could mediate a rapid immune response in case of re-infection.

Hospital-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infection
The rare incidence of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection is reviewed in this Viewpoint, which also discusses ways it can be minimized, including use of surgical masks, proper ventilation, physical distancing, eye protection, regular testing and the availability of sick leave for health care workers.

Peering under the "hood" of SARS-CoV-2
Microscope and protein data are incorporated into an easy-to-use-and-update tool that can model an organism's 3D appearance.

Nanobodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2
Two separate studies have identified nanobodies - which could be produced less expensively than monoclonal antibodies - that bind tightly to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and efficiently neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in cells.

Global study identifies common vulnerabilities across SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS coronaviruses
There are common vulnerabilities among three lethal coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV, such as frequently hijacked cellular pathways, that could lead to promising targets for broad coronavirus inhibition, according to a study by an international research team that includes scientists from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.

Read More: SARS News and SARS Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.