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Human coronavirus infections: importance and diagnosis

Human coronavirus infections: importance and diagnosis

Presse Medicale 27(35): 1813-1817

POORLY-KNOWN VIRUS: Coronaviruses, so named because of their sun-ray-like aspect, were discovered in the sixties. The biology of these RNA viruses is complex and poorly understood. KNOWN PATHOGENS: Coronaviruses are known pathogens in veterinary medicine, causing disease states in several domestic species. In human medicine, they can cause benign respiratory infections, but few laboratories include coronaviruses in their routine diagnostic tests. SUSPECTED PATHOGENS: There is some data in the literature suggesting coronaviruses might be implicated in more severe diseases including multiple sclerosis, necrotizing enterocolitis, and lower respiratory tract infections, particularly in infants. IMPROVING DIAGNOSTIC METHODS: Due to the lack of reliable and sensitive diagnostic techniques, it is impossible to date to correctly assess the medical impact of these ubiquitous and endemic viruses. Molecular biology techniques enabling detection of human coronavirus infections should be applied to verifying the suspected implication of these viruses in diverse disease states.

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Accession: 046287445

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PMID: 9850702

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