A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin

Nature. 2020 Mar;579(7798):270-273. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2012-7. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Abstract

Since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 18 years ago, a large number of SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats<sup>1-4</sup>. Previous studies have shown that some bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans<sup>5-7</sup>. Here we report the identification and characterization of a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans in Wuhan, China. The epidemic, which started on 12 December 2019, had caused 2,794 laboratory-confirmed infections including 80 deaths by 26 January 2020. Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at an early stage of the outbreak. The sequences are almost identical and share 79.6% sequence identity to SARS-CoV. Furthermore, we show that 2019-nCoV is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus. Pairwise protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins domains show that this virus belongs to the species of SARSr-CoV. In addition, 2019-nCoV virus isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a critically ill patient could be neutralized by sera from several patients. Notably, we confirmed that 2019-nCoV uses the same cell entry receptor-angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2)-as SARS-CoV.

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Betacoronavirus / classification*
  • Betacoronavirus / genetics*
  • Betacoronavirus / metabolism
  • Betacoronavirus / ultrastructure
  • COVID-19
  • Cell Line
  • China / epidemiology
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology*
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Female
  • Genome, Viral / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • SARS Virus / classification
  • SARS Virus / genetics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
  • Vero Cells

Substances

  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • ACE2 protein, human
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2