Thursday, 2 May 2013

That (don't call me novel) coronavirus is back!

Media reports, FluTrackers and Avian Flu Diary describe five recent deaths and two other critically ill cases under close watch in the Al-Ahasa region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, linked to infection with the newly identified human coronavirus HCoV-EMC. This virus was first isolated in September 2012 from a 60M (60-year-old male) with pneumonia and renal failure in Jeddah, KSA. 

Further evidence for bats as a major source of CoVs came in a recent study in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Yang and colleagues identified a novel CoV from each of 2 bat species. 

The newly identified betacoronaviruses (betaCoVs), Bat Rp-coronavirus/Shaanxi2011 and Bat Cp-coronavirus/Yunnan2011 (rolls of the tongue doesn't it?) were not that closely related to human betaCoVs but resided in the bat verison of the SARS-like COVs.