SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) Coronavirus: a New Challenge for Prevention and Therapy   [open pdf - 0B]

"A new and deadly clinical syndrome now called severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was brought to the attention of the WHO by Dr. Carlo Urbani and his colleagues in a Vietnamese hospital in February 2003 (1). The WHO, the medical staffs in hospitals where the disease had appeared, and local and regional governments, together with a dozen cooperating laboratories across the globe, immediately responded. They provided a provisional case definition to identify the extent and geographic distribution of the outbreak (2), laboratory investigations to identify the infectious agent, and travel advisories and quarantines to limit the spread of the disease (3, 4). This extraordinary and effective collaboration limited the potentially explosive spread of the outbreak, while initial case reports with clinical and epidemiological information were quickly posted on the Internet to help physicians identify additional cases of the new syndrome (2, 4-9)...Laboratory investigations using electron microscopy, virus-discovery microarrays containing conserved nucleotide sequences characteristic of many virus families, randomly primed RT-PCR, and serological tests quickly identified the virus as a new coronavirus (8, 10, 11). Inoculation of monkeys with the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) caused interstitial pneumonia resembling SARS, and the virus was isolated from the nose and throat (12). No viral or bacterial copathogen was needed to induce the disease. These experiments fulfilled Koch's postulates and proved that SARS-CoV is the cause of SARS."

2006 American Society for Clinical Investigation
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