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      A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Summary

          Background

          An ongoing outbreak of pneumonia associated with a novel coronavirus was reported in Wuhan city, Hubei province, China. Affected patients were geographically linked with a local wet market as a potential source. No data on person-to-person or nosocomial transmission have been published to date.

          Methods

          In this study, we report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, radiological, and microbiological findings of five patients in a family cluster who presented with unexplained pneumonia after returning to Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China, after a visit to Wuhan, and an additional family member who did not travel to Wuhan. Phylogenetic analysis of genetic sequences from these patients were done.

          Findings

          From Jan 10, 2020, we enrolled a family of six patients who travelled to Wuhan from Shenzhen between Dec 29, 2019 and Jan 4, 2020. Of six family members who travelled to Wuhan, five were identified as infected with the novel coronavirus. Additionally, one family member, who did not travel to Wuhan, became infected with the virus after several days of contact with four of the family members. None of the family members had contacts with Wuhan markets or animals, although two had visited a Wuhan hospital. Five family members (aged 36–66 years) presented with fever, upper or lower respiratory tract symptoms, or diarrhoea, or a combination of these 3–6 days after exposure. They presented to our hospital (The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen) 6–10 days after symptom onset. They and one asymptomatic child (aged 10 years) had radiological ground-glass lung opacities. Older patients (aged >60 years) had more systemic symptoms, extensive radiological ground-glass lung changes, lymphopenia, thrombocytopenia, and increased C-reactive protein and lactate dehydrogenase levels. The nasopharyngeal or throat swabs of these six patients were negative for known respiratory microbes by point-of-care multiplex RT-PCR, but five patients (four adults and the child) were RT-PCR positive for genes encoding the internal RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and surface Spike protein of this novel coronavirus, which were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Phylogenetic analysis of these five patients' RT-PCR amplicons and two full genomes by next-generation sequencing showed that this is a novel coronavirus, which is closest to the bat severe acute respiatory syndrome (SARS)-related coronaviruses found in Chinese horseshoe bats.

          Interpretation

          Our findings are consistent with person-to-person transmission of this novel coronavirus in hospital and family settings, and the reports of infected travellers in other geographical regions.

          Funding

          The Shaw Foundation Hong Kong, Michael Seak-Kan Tong, Respiratory Viral Research Foundation Limited, Hui Ming, Hui Hoy and Chow Sin Lan Charity Fund Limited, Marina Man-Wai Lee, the Hong Kong Hainan Commercial Association South China Microbiology Research Fund, Sanming Project of Medicine (Shenzhen), and High Level-Hospital Program (Guangdong Health Commission).

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          Most cited references 12

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          Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-like virus in Chinese horseshoe bats.

          Although the finding of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in caged palm civets from live animal markets in China has provided evidence for interspecies transmission in the genesis of the SARS epidemic, subsequent studies suggested that the civet may have served only as an amplification host for SARS-CoV. In a surveillance study for CoV in noncaged animals from the wild areas of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region, we identified a CoV closely related to SARS-CoV (bat-SARS-CoV) from 23 (39%) of 59 anal swabs of wild Chinese horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus sinicus) by using RT-PCR. Sequencing and analysis of three bat-SARS-CoV genomes from samples collected at different dates showed that bat-SARS-CoV is closely related to SARS-CoV from humans and civets. Phylogenetic analysis showed that bat-SARS-CoV formed a distinct cluster with SARS-CoV as group 2b CoV, distantly related to known group 2 CoV. Most differences between the bat-SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV genomes were observed in the spike genes, ORF 3 and ORF 8, which are the regions where most variations also were observed between human and civet SARS-CoV genomes. In addition, the presence of a 29-bp insertion in ORF 8 of bat-SARS-CoV genome, not in most human SARS-CoV genomes, suggests that it has a common ancestor with civet SARS-CoV. Antibody against recombinant bat-SARS-CoV nucleocapsid protein was detected in 84% of Chinese horseshoe bats by using an enzyme immunoassay. Neutralizing antibody to human SARS-CoV also was detected in bats with lower viral loads. Precautions should be exercised in the handling of these animals.
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            Respiratory Tract Samples, Viral Load, and Genome Fraction Yield in Patients With Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

            Abstract Background.  Analysis of clinical samples from patients with new viral infections is critical to confirm the diagnosis, to specify the viral load, and to sequence data necessary for characterizing the viral kinetics, transmission, and evolution. We analyzed samples from 112 patients infected with the recently discovered Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Methods.  Respiratory tract samples from cases of MERS-CoV infection confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were investigated to determine the MERS-CoV load and fraction of the MERS-CoV genome. These values were analyzed to determine associations with clinical sample type. Results.  Samples from 112 individuals in which MERS-CoV was detected by PCR were analyzed, of which 13 were sputum samples, 64 were nasopharyngeal swab specimens, 30 were tracheal aspirates, and 3 were bronchoalveolar lavage specimens; 2 samples were of unknown origin. Tracheal aspirates yielded significantly higher MERS-CoV loads, compared with nasopharyngeal swab specimens (P = .005) and sputum specimens (P = .0001). Tracheal aspirates had viral loads similar to those in bronchoalveolar lavage samples (P = .3079). Bronchoalveolar lavage samples and tracheal aspirates had significantly higher genome fraction than nasopharyngeal swab specimens (P = .0095 and P = .0002, respectively) and sputum samples (P = .0009 and P = .0001, respectively). The genome yield from tracheal aspirates and bronchoalveolar lavage samples were similar (P = .1174). Conclusions.  Lower respiratory tract samples yield significantly higher MERS-CoV loads and genome fractions than upper respiratory tract samples.
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              Viral load in patients infected with pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza A virus

              Abstract Viral shedding profile of infections caused by the pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza A virus has not been reported. The aim of this study was to determine the viral load in different body sites. Viral loads of pandemic H1N1 virus in respiratory specimens, stool, urine, and serum were determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase‐polymerase chain reaction (RT‐PCR). Respiratory specimens from patients with seasonal influenza were used as historical controls. Initial pre‐treatment viral load were compared between these two groups. Serial respiratory specimens from patients with pandemic H1N1 virus infection were obtained for analysis of viral dynamics. Twenty‐two pandemic H1N1 cases and 44 seasonal influenza historical controls were included. The mean initial viral load before oseltamivir therapy was 1.84 × 108 copies/ml for pandemic H1N1 virus compared with 3.28 × 108 copies/ml in seasonal influenza historical controls (P = 0.085). Among patients with pandemic H1N1 virus infection, peak viral load occurred on the day of onset of symptoms, and declined gradually afterwards, with no virus being detectable in respiratory specimens by RT‐PCR 8 days and by culture 5 days after the onset of symptoms respectively, except in one patient. Pandemic H1N1 virus was detected in stool and in urine from 4/9 and 1/14 patients, respectively. Viral culture was also positive from the stool sample with the highest viral load. Younger age was associated with prolonged shedding in the respiratory tract and higher viral load in the stool. Data from this quantitative analysis of viral shedding may have implications for formulating infection control measures. J. Med. Virol. 82:1–7, 2010. © 2009 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Lancet
                Lancet
                Lancet (London, England)
                Elsevier Ltd.
                0140-6736
                1474-547X
                24 January 2020
                15-21 February 2020
                24 January 2020
                : 395
                : 10223
                : 514-523
                Affiliations
                [a ]State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Carol Yu Centre for Infection, Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China
                [b ]Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control, The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
                [c ]Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence to: Prof Kwok-Yung Yuen, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infection Control, The University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province 518009, China kyyuen@ 123456hku.hk
                [*]

                Contributed equally

                Article
                S0140-6736(20)30154-9
                10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30154-9
                7159286
                31986261
                © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

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