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

Peng Zhou, Xing Lou Yang, Xian Guang Wang, Ben Hu, Lei Zhang, Wei Zhang, Hao Rui Si, Yan Zhu, Bei Li, Chao Lin Huang, Hui Dong Chen, Jing Chen, Yun Luo, Hua Guo, Ren Di Jiang, Mei Qin Liu, Ying Chen, Xu Rui Shen, Xi Wang, Xiao Shuang ZhengKai Zhao, Quan Jiao Chen, Fei Deng, Lin Lin Liu, Bing Yan, Fa Xian Zhan, Yan Yi Wang, Geng Fu Xiao, Zheng Li Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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© 2020, The Author(s). 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, bats1–4. Previous studies have shown that some bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans5–7. 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.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number7798
StatePublished - 12 Mar 2020

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    Zhou, P., Yang, X. L., Wang, X. G., Hu, B., Zhang, L., Zhang, W., Si, H. R., Zhu, Y., Li, B., Huang, C. L., Chen, H. D., Chen, J., Luo, Y., Guo, H., Jiang, R. D., Liu, M. Q., Chen, Y., Shen, X. R., Wang, X., ... Shi, Z. L. (2020). A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin. Nature, 579(7798). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2012-7