Severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) emerged, in November 2002, as a novel agent causing severe respiratory illness. To study sequence variation in the SARS-CoV genome, we determined the nucleic acid sequence of the S and N genes directly from clinical specimens from 10 patients-1 specimen with no matched SARS-CoV isolate, from 2 patients; multiple specimens from 3 patients; and matched clinical-specimen/cell-culture-isolate pairs from 6 patients. We identified 3 nucleotide substitutions that were most likely due to natural variation and 2 substitutions that arose after cell-culture passage of the virus. These data demonstrate the overall stability of the S and N genes of SARS-CoV over 3 months during which a minimum of 4 generations for transmission events occurred. These findings are a part of the expanding investigation of the evolution of how this virus adapts to a new host.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health