Peng Zhou 1 , Xing-Lou Yang 1 , Xian-Guang Wang 2 , Ben Hu 1 , Lei Zhang 1 , Wei Zhang 1 , Hao-Rui Si 1 , 3 , Yan Zhu 1 , Bei Li 1 , Chao-Lin Huang 2 , Hui-Dong Chen 2 , Jing Chen 1 , 3 , Yun Luo 1 , 3 , Hua Guo 1 , 3 , Ren-Di Jiang 1 , 3 , Mei-Qin Liu 1 , 3 , Ying Chen 1 , 3 , Xu-Rui Shen 1 , 3 , Xi Wang 1 , 3 , Xiao-Shuang Zheng 1 , 3 , Kai Zhao 1 , 3 , Quan-Jiao Chen 1 , Fei Deng 1 , Lin-Lin Liu 4 , Bing Yan 1 , Fa-Xian Zhan 4 , Yan-Yi Wang 1 , Geng-Fu Xiao 1 , Zheng-Li Shi , 1
3 February 2020
Since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 18 years ago, a large number of SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats 1– 4 . Previous studies have shown that some bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans 5– 7 . Here we report the identification and characterization of a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans in Wuhan, China. The epidemic, which started on 12 December 2019, had caused 2,794 laboratory-confirmed infections including 80 deaths by 26 January 2020. Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at an early stage of the outbreak. The sequences are almost identical and share 79.6% sequence identity to SARS-CoV. Furthermore, we show that 2019-nCoV is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus. Pairwise protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins domains show that this virus belongs to the species of SARSr-CoV. In addition, 2019-nCoV virus isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a critically ill patient could be neutralized by sera from several patients. Notably, we confirmed that 2019-nCoV uses the same cell entry receptor—angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2)—as SARS-CoV.
Characterization of full-length genome sequences from patients infected with a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) shows that the sequences are nearly identical and indicates that the virus is related to a bat coronavirus.