Virus Isolation from the First Patient with SARS-CoV-2 in Korea

J Korean Med Sci. 2020 Feb 24;35(7):e84. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e84.


Novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is found to cause a large outbreak started from Wuhan since December 2019 in China and SARS-CoV-2 infections have been reported with epidemiological linkage to China in 25 countries until now. We isolated SARS-CoV-2 from the oropharyngeal sample obtained from the patient with the first laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in Korea. Cytopathic effects of SARS-CoV-2 in the Vero cell cultures were confluent 3 days after the first blind passage of the sample. Coronavirus was confirmed with spherical particle having a fringe reminiscent of crown on transmission electron microscopy. Phylogenetic analyses of whole genome sequences showed that it clustered with other SARS-CoV-2 reported from Wuhan.

Keywords: 2019 Novel Coronavirus; Culture; Korea; Microscopy, Electron; Phylogeny.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Betacoronavirus* / genetics
  • Betacoronavirus* / isolation & purification
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Oropharynx / virology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnosis
  • Republic of Korea
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Whole Genome Sequencing*