SARS-like WIV1-CoV poised for human emergence

Vineet D. Menachery, Boyd L. Yount, Amy C. Sims, Kari Debbink, Sudhakar S. Agnihothram, Lisa E. Gralinski, Rachel L. Graham, Trevor Scobey, Jessica A. Plante, Scott R. Royal, Jesica Swanstrom, Timothy P. Sheahan, Raymond J. Pickles, Davide Corti, Scott H. Randell, Antonio Lanzavecchia, Wayne A. Marasco, Ralph S. Baric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

292 Scopus citations


Outbreaks from zoonotic sources represent a threat to both human disease as well as the global economy. Despite a wealth of metagenomics studies,methods to leverage these datasets to identify future threats are underdeveloped. In this study, we describe an approach that combines existing metagenomics data with reverse genetics to engineer reagents to evaluate emergence and pathogenic potential of circulating zoonotic viruses. Focusing on the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like viruses, the results indicate that the WIV1-coronavirus (CoV) cluster has the ability to directly infect and may undergo limited transmission in human populations. However, in vivo attenuation suggests additional adaptation is required for epidemic disease. Importantly, available SARS monoclonal antibodies offered success in limiting viral infection absent from available vaccine approaches. Together, the data highlight the utility of a platform to identify and prioritize prepandemic strains harbored in animal reservoirs and document the threat posed by WIV1-CoV for emergence in human populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3048-3053
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • CoV
  • Emergence
  • SARS
  • Spike
  • WIV1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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