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HKU1 A Group 2 Coronavirus Recombinant
January 15, 2005
>>Here we report the discovery of another novel coronavirus, coronavirus HKU1 (CoV-HKU1), from a 71-year-old man with pneumonia who had just returned from Shenzhen, China…….The complete genome sequence of CoV-HKU1 is a 29,926-nucleotide, polyadenylated RNA, with G+C content of 32%, the lowest among all known coronaviruses with available genome sequence. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that CoV-HKU1 is a new group 2 coronavirus. Screening of 400 NPAs, negative for SARS-CoV, from patients with respiratory illness during the SARS period identified the presence of CoV-HKU1 RNA in an additional specimen, with a viral load of 1.13 x 106 copies per ml, from a 35-year-old woman with pneumonia. Our data support the existence of a novel group 2 coronavirus associated with pneumonia in humans.<<
Analysis of the sequence of the novel group 2 coronavirus indicates it has emerged via recombination using the same mechanism used by avian influenza viruses such as H5N1, which causes bird flu, or SARS coronavirus, which causes atypical pneumonia.
The sequence provides additional evidence showing that all viruses evolve via recombination, which is why the process has been dubbed elegant evolution.