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NL63 A Group 1 Coronavirus Recombinant
January 16, 2005
>>Here we describe the identification and characterization of a not previously recognized coronavirus obtained from an 8-mo-old boy suffering from pneumonia. This coronavirus replicated efficiently in tertiary monkey kidney cells and Vero cells, in contrast to human coronaviruses (HCoV) 229E and OC43. The entire cDNA genome sequence of the previously undescribed coronavirus was determined, revealing that it is most closely related to porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and HCoV 229E. The maximum amino acid sequence identity between ORFs of the newly discovered coronavirus and related group 1 coronaviruses ranged from 43% to 67%. Real-time RT-PCR assays were designed to test for the prevalence of the previously undescribed coronavirus in humans. Using these tests, the virus was detected in four of 139 individuals (3%) who were suffering from respiratory illness with unknown etiology. All four patients suffered from fever, runny nose, and dry cough, and all four had underlying or additional morbidity.<<
NL63 is a novel coronavirus related to group 1 viruses. Like HKU1 it is a recombinant, but in this case it is between a class 1 human cold virus, 228E, and various class 1 animal, or in some small regions, avian coronaviruses. It is another example of a novel human viruse capable of causing pneumonia emerging via recombination between two coronaviruses of the same class.
Examples of this type of recombination can be found in influenza viruses, including avian influenza H5N1, the etiological agent in bird flu.