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SARS CoV Evolution and Emergence Via Recombination
January 30, 2005
SARS sequences have become publicly available at GenBank. Complete sequences for an isolate, SARS CoV/GZ/GZ0402/04, from a 2004 SARS patient as well as isolates from 3 palm civets, SARS CoV/PC/GZ/PC4-13/04, SARS CoV/PC/GZ/PC4-136/04, SARS CoV/PC/GZ/PC4-227/04, became available this weekend.
Sequences for the S gene which encodes the spike protein from another human isolate, SARS CoV/GZ/GZ0403/04, and 7 palm civets, SARS CoV/PC/GZ/PC4-115/04, SARS CoV/PC/GZ/PC4-127/04, SARS CoV/PC/GZ/PC4-137/04, SARS CoV/PC/GZ/PC4-145/04, SARS CoV/PC/GZ/PC4-199/04, SARS CoV/PC/GZ/PC4-205/04, SARS CoV/PC/GZ/PC4-241/04, also became available this weekend.
Earlier this month a complete sequence from a civet isolate, SARS CoV/PC/SZ/61/03, collected prior to last season's outbreak became available..
Analysis of these sequences, as well as those from 3 civets and a raccoon dog collected earlier in 2003, as well as isolates from patients in 2003, indicates that the SARS CoV evolved via recombination. The recombination included recombination between human and civet isolates.
The molecular mechanisms of SARS CoV recombinantion and evolution follow the same rules that govern influenza evolution. Influenza recombinants include H5N1 bird flu, as well as various human isolates such as the current Fujian-like H3N2 and 1918 H1N1 pandemic flu.