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      SARS-CoV Infection Was from at Least Two Origins in the Taiwan Area


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          Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by a new coronavirus. Genomic sequence analysis will provide the molecular epidemiology and help to develop vaccines.


          We developed a rapid method to amplify and sequence the whole SARS-CoV genome from clinical specimens. The technique employed one-step multiplex RT-PCR to amplify the whole SARS-CoV genome, and then nested PCR was performed to amplify a 2-kb region separately. The PCR products were sequenced.


          We sequenced the genomes of SARS-CoV from 3 clinical specimens obtained in Taiwan. The sequences were similar to those reported by other groups, except that 17 single nucleotide variations and two 2-nucleotide deletions, and a 1-nucleotide deletion were found. All the variations in the clinical specimens did not alter the amino acid sequence. Of these 17 sequenced variants, two loci (positions 26203 and 27812) were segregated together as a specific genotype-T:T or C:C. Phylogenetic analysis showed two major clusters of SARS patients in Taiwan.


          We developed a very economical and rapid method to sequence the whole genome of SARS-CoV, which can avoid cultural influence. From our results, SARS patients in Taiwan may be infected from two different origins.

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          Most cited references23

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          Identification of a Novel Coronavirus in Patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

          The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has recently been identified as a new clinical entity. SARS is thought to be caused by an unknown infectious agent. Clinical specimens from patients with SARS were searched for unknown viruses with the use of cell cultures and molecular techniques. A novel coronavirus was identified in patients with SARS. The virus was isolated in cell culture, and a sequence 300 nucleotides in length was obtained by a polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR)-based random-amplification procedure. Genetic characterization indicated that the virus is only distantly related to known coronaviruses (identical in 50 to 60 percent of the nucleotide sequence). On the basis of the obtained sequence, conventional and real-time PCR assays for specific and sensitive detection of the novel virus were established. Virus was detected in a variety of clinical specimens from patients with SARS but not in controls. High concentrations of viral RNA of up to 100 million molecules per milliliter were found in sputum. Viral RNA was also detected at extremely low concentrations in plasma during the acute phase and in feces during the late convalescent phase. Infected patients showed seroconversion on the Vero cells in which the virus was isolated. The novel coronavirus might have a role in causing SARS. Copyright 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society
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            A novel coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome.

            A worldwide outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has been associated with exposures originating from a single ill health care worker from Guangdong Province, China. We conducted studies to identify the etiologic agent of this outbreak. We received clinical specimens from patients in seven countries and tested them, using virus-isolation techniques, electron-microscopical and histologic studies, and molecular and serologic assays, in an attempt to identify a wide range of potential pathogens. None of the previously described respiratory pathogens were consistently identified. However, a novel coronavirus was isolated from patients who met the case definition of SARS. Cytopathological features were noted in Vero E6 cells inoculated with a throat-swab specimen. Electron-microscopical examination revealed ultrastructural features characteristic of coronaviruses. Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence staining revealed reactivity with group I coronavirus polyclonal antibodies. Consensus coronavirus primers designed to amplify a fragment of the polymerase gene by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to obtain a sequence that clearly identified the isolate as a unique coronavirus only distantly related to previously sequenced coronaviruses. With specific diagnostic RT-PCR primers we identified several identical nucleotide sequences in 12 patients from several locations, a finding consistent with a point-source outbreak. Indirect fluorescence antibody tests and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays made with the new isolate have been used to demonstrate a virus-specific serologic response. This virus may never before have circulated in the U.S. population. A novel coronavirus is associated with this outbreak, and the evidence indicates that this virus has an etiologic role in SARS. Because of the death of Dr. Carlo Urbani, we propose that our first isolate be named the Urbani strain of SARS-associated coronavirus. Copyright 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society
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              Characterization of a novel coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome.

              P Rota (2003)
              In March 2003, a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV) was discovered in association with cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The sequence of the complete genome of SARS-CoV was determined, and the initial characterization of the viral genome is presented in this report. The genome of SARS-CoV is 29,727 nucleotides in length and has 11 open reading frames, and its genome organization is similar to that of other coronaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses and sequence comparisons showed that SARS-CoV is not closely related to any of the previously characterized coronaviruses.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, karger@karger.com )
                June 2005
                24 March 2005
                : 48
                : 2-3
                : 124-132
                [1] aDepartment of Molecular Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung
                [2] bInstitute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei
                [3] cDepartment of Computer Science, National Chung-Shing University, Taichung
                [4] dGraduate Institute of Bioinformatics, Taichung Healthcare and Management University, Taichung
                [5] eDepartment of Molecular Medicine, Taipei Institute of Pathology, Taipei
                [6] fSchool of Medical Technology, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
                Author notes
                * Jan-Gowth Chang, MD, Department of Molecular Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, 2, Yuh Der Road, Taichung (Taiwan), Tel. +886 4 2205 2121/ext 7075, Fax +886 4 2203 3295, E-Mail d6781@ 123456www.cmuh.org.tw
                Copyright © 2005 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                : 19 February 2004
                : 14 May 2004
                : 2005
                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 6, References: 28, Pages: 9
                Original Paper

                multiplex rt-pcr,sars, genomic sequence analysis,sars, taiwan,sars-cov genome,sars-cov, infection origin,severe acute respiratory syndrome


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