Isolation and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 from the first US COVID-19 patient

bioRxiv. 2020 Mar 7;2020.03.02.972935. doi: 10.1101/2020.03.02.972935. Preprint


The etiologic agent of the outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan China was identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in January, 2020. The first US patient was diagnosed by the State of Washington and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on January 20, 2020. We isolated virus from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens, and characterized the viral sequence, replication properties, and cell culture tropism. We found that the virus replicates to high titer in Vero-CCL81 cells and Vero E6 cells in the absence of trypsin. We also deposited the virus into two virus repositories, making it broadly available to the public health and research communities. We hope that open access to this important reagent will expedite development of medical countermeasures.

Keywords: 2019 -nCoV; COVID-19; Coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Preprint