Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2020 Feb 20;382(8):727-733.
doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2001017. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

A Novel Coronavirus From Patients With Pneumonia in China, 2019

Free PMC article

A Novel Coronavirus From Patients With Pneumonia in China, 2019

Na Zhu et al. N Engl J Med. .
Free PMC article


In December 2019, a cluster of patients with pneumonia of unknown cause was linked to a seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China. A previously unknown betacoronavirus was discovered through the use of unbiased sequencing in samples from patients with pneumonia. Human airway epithelial cells were used to isolate a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, which formed a clade within the subgenus sarbecovirus, Orthocoronavirinae subfamily. Different from both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV is the seventh member of the family of coronaviruses that infect humans. Enhanced surveillance and further investigation are ongoing. (Funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China.).


Figure 1
Figure 1. Chest Radiographs.
Shown are chest radiographs from Patient 2 on days 8 and 11 after the onset of illness. The trachea was intubated and mechanical ventilation instituted in the period between the acquisition of the two images. Bilateral fluffy opacities are present in both images but are increased in density, profusion, and confluence in the second image; these changes are most marked in the lower lung fields. Changes consistent with the accumulation of pleural liquid are also visible in the second image.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Cytopathic Effects in Human Airway Epithelial Cell Cultures after Inoculation with 2019-nCoV.
Figure 3
Figure 3. Visualization of 2019-nCoV with Transmission Electron Microscopy.
Negative-stained 2019-nCoV particles are shown in Panel A, and 2019-nCoV particles in the human airway epithelial cell ultrathin sections are shown in Panel B. Arrowheads indicate extracellular virus particles, arrows indicate inclusion bodies formed by virus components, and triangles indicate cilia.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Schematic of 2019-nCoV and Phylogenetic Analysis of 2019-nCoV and Other Betacoronavirus Genomes.
Shown are a schematic of 2019-nCoV (Panel A) and full-length phylogenetic analysis of 2019-nCoV and other betacoronavirus genomes in the Orthocoronavirinae subfamily (Panel B).

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1,028 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Gao GF. From “A”IV to “Z”IKV: attacks from emerging and re-emerging pathogens. Cell 2018;172:1157-1159. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Weiss SR, Leibowitz JL. Coronavirus pathogenesis. Adv Virus Res 2011;81:85-164. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Masters PS, Perlman S. Coronaviridae. In: Knipe DM, Howley PM, eds. Fields virology. 6th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2013:825-58.
    1. Su S, Wong G, Shi W, et al. Epidemiology, genetic recombination, and pathogenesis of coronaviruses. Trends Microbiol 2016;24:490-502. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Cui J, Li F, Shi ZL. Origin and evolution of pathogenic coronaviruses. Nat Rev Microbiol 2019;17:181-192. - PMC - PubMed

MeSH terms

Supplementary concepts