PubMed Journals: N Engl J Med
Source: PMID: 12690091
⇦ ⇨ N Engl J Med. 2003 May 15;348(20):1967-76.
⇩ Epub 2003 Apr 10.
Identification of a novel coronavirus in
patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome.
Drosten C(1), Günther S, Preiser W, van
der Werf S, Brodt HR, Becker S, Rabenau
H, Panning M, Kolesnikova L, Fouchier RA,
Berger A, Burguière AM, Cinatl J, Eickmann
M, Escriou N, Grywna K, Kramme S, Manuguerra
JC, Müller S, Rickerts V, Stürmer M, Vieth
S, Klenk HD, Osterhaus AD, Schmitz H, Doerr
(1) Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine,
National Reference Center for Tropical Infectious
Diseases, Hamburg, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
Comment in N Engl J Med. 2003 May
15;348(20):1948-51. N Engl J Med. 2003 May
BACKGROUND: 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.
METHODS: Clinical specimens from patients
with SARS were searched for unknown viruses
with the use of cell cultures and molecular
techniques. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: The novel coronavirus
might have a role in causing SARS.
Copyright 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa030747 PMID: 12690091
[Indexed for MEDLINE]