The name Urbani
SARS-associated coronavirus is proposed for the virus
A Novel Coronavirus Associated with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Published at www.nejm.org April 10, 2003, 10.1056/NEJMoa030781) has been identified by the SARS Working Group: Thomas G. Ksiazek, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dean Erdman, Dr.P.H., Cynthia Goldsmith, M.S., Sherif R. Zaki, M.D., Ph.D., Teresa Peret, Ph.D., Shannon Emery, Suxiang Tong, Ph.D., Carlo Urbani, M.D., James A. Comer, Ph.D., M.P.H., Wilina Lim, Pierre E. Rollin, M.D., Scott Dowell, M.D., M.P.H., Ai-Ee Ling, M.D., Charles Humphrey, Ph.D., Wun-Ju Shieh, M.D., Jeannette Guarner, M.D., Christopher D. Paddock, M.D., Paul Rota, Ph.D., Barry Fields, Ph.D., Joseph DeRisi, Ph.D., Jyh-Yuan Yang, Ph.D., Nancy Cox, Ph.D., James Hughes, M.D., James W. LeDuc, Ph.D., William Bellini, Ph.D., Larry J. Anderson, M.D.
No classic respiratory or bacterial respiratory pathogen was consistently identified. However, a novel coronavirus was isolated from patients who met the case definition of SARS. Cytopathological features were noted microscopically in Vero E6 cells inoculated with a throat-swab specimen. Electron-microscopical examination of cultures revealed ultrastructural features characteristic of coronaviruses. Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence staining revealed reactivity with group I coronavirus polyclonal antibodies. Consensus coronavirus primers designed to amplify a fragment of the polymerase gene by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to obtain a sequence that clearly identified the isolate as a unique coronavirus only distantly related to previously sequenced coronaviruses. With specific diagnostic RT-PCR primers we identified several identical nucleotide sequences in 12 patients from several locations, a finding consistent with a point source outbreak. Indirect fluorescent antibody tests and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays made with the new coronavirus isolate have been used to demonstrate a virus-specific serologic response. Preliminary studies suggest that this virus may never before have infected the U.S. population.
Conclusions A novel coronavirus is associated with this outbreak, and the evidence indicates that this virus has an etiologic role in SARS. The name Urbani SARS-associated coronavirus is proposed for the virus. The original article will be published in the May 15, 2003, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.