This study summary is an excerpt from the book 2 Minute Medicine’s The Classics in Medicine: Summaries of the Landmark Trials
1. This cross-sectional study found that coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) shared 79.6% genome sequence identity with severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV).
2. Additionally, COVID-19 shares 96% whole genome sequence with bat coronavirus.
Original Date of Publication: February 2020
Study Rundown: In this cross-sectional study, full-length genome sequences were obtained from the early COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China. The sequence was compared to SARS-CoV BJ01 and was identified to belong to the species SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoV). Additionally, COVID-19 uses the same cell entry receptor as SARC-CoV. Full-length sequencing was also performed on a bat coronavirus (BatCoV RaTG13) which was found through phylogenetic analysis to be the closest identified relative to COVID-19. Although, the generalizability of the study results is severely limited by small sample size and lack of robust epidemiological data confirming infection etiology. In summary, this study demonstrated that COVID-19 is a SARSr-CoV which whole-genome similarity to BatCoV RaTG13.
In-Depth [cross-sectional study]: The present cross-sectional study compared the whole-genome sequence of COVID-19 extracted from patients admitted to Wuhan Jin Yin-Tan Hospital (n = 5) to the whole genomes of SARS-CoV BJ01 and BatCoV RaTG13. Patients were originally presented with virus-induced pneumonia of unknown origin. Targeted PCR was used to obtain a COVID-19 genome which had 79.6% similarity to SARSr-CoV. The COVID-19 genome evaluated had six major open-reading frames and several accessory genes common to coronaviruses. Additionally, a virus infectivity study was conducted which determined that COVID-19 uses the same cell entry receptor-angiotensin converting enzyme II as SARS-CoV. Interestingly, overall sequence identity of COVID-19 had 96.2% similarity to BatCoV RaTG13.
Zhou P, Yang XL, Wang XG, Hu B, Zhang L, Zhang W, Si HR, Zhu Y, Li B, Huang CL, Chen HD. A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin. nature. 2020 Mar;579(7798):270-3.
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