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The biological characteristics of SARS virus and its related coronaviruses

The biological characteristics of SARS virus and its related coronaviruses

Sheng Wu Hua Xue Yu Sheng Wu Wu Li Xue Bao Acta Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica 35(6): 495-502

Cases of the life-threatening respiratory disease with no identified cause (designated as "severe acute respiratory syndrome", SARS, in March 2003) were first reported in late 2002 from Guangdong Province, China; they were followed by reports from about other 30 countries (or regions) such as Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong (China), Canada, and USA etc. Because of its ongoing epidemic and high death rate, SARS has shined an intense spotlight all over the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) has promptly established a network of international laboratories consisting of 13 members around the 10 countries to facilitate the identification of the causative agent of SARS. A novel coronavirus, SARS virus, fulfilling all of Koch's postulates was announced to be the primary aetiological agent of SARS on April 16 by WHO shortly after the Canadian scientists released the full-length genome sequence of SARS virus (Tor2) on April 12. China is now facing a formidable task to fight SARS. In this article, we present a brief summary on the biological characteristics of coronavirus with its associated diseases, and make some suggestions on how to curb this outbreak and how to cure SARS disease based on the potential targets of this novel virus.

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Accession: 011479795

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PMID: 12796808

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