Identification of a new human coronavirus

Nat Med. 2004 Apr;10(4):368-73. doi: 10.1038/nm1024. Epub 2004 Mar 21.


Three human coronaviruses are known to exist: human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E), HCoV-OC43 and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Here we report the identification of a fourth human coronavirus, HCoV-NL63, using a new method of virus discovery. The virus was isolated from a 7-month-old child suffering from bronchiolitis and conjunctivitis. The complete genome sequence indicates that this virus is not a recombinant, but rather a new group 1 coronavirus. The in vitro host cell range of HCoV-NL63 is notable because it replicates on tertiary monkey kidney cells and the monkey kidney LLC-MK2 cell line. The viral genome contains distinctive features, including a unique N-terminal fragment within the spike protein. Screening of clinical specimens from individuals suffering from respiratory illness identified seven additional HCoV-NL63-infected individuals, indicating that the virus was widely spread within the human population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Base Sequence
  • Coronavirus / classification
  • Coronavirus / genetics
  • Coronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • DNA Primers
  • Genome, Viral
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA Primers

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY567487
  • GENBANK/AY567488
  • GENBANK/AY567489
  • GENBANK/AY567490
  • GENBANK/AY567491
  • GENBANK/AY567492
  • GENBANK/AY567493
  • GENBANK/AY567494