Coronavirus is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins ABX Guide.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • Positive single-strand, enveloped RNA virus belonging to the family Coronaviridae.
  • Name derived from the Latin corona, meaning crown. Viral envelope under electron microscopy appears crown-like due to small bulbar projections formed by the viral spike (S) peplomers.
  • Virus common infection of birds and mammals causing gastroenteritis and respiratory infections.
  • Important structural proteins include spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M) and nucleocapsid (N).
  • In humans, growing number of strains identified as causing human disease, with SARS and MERS-CoV coronaviruses causing most severe disease.
    • Alpha coronaviruses 229E and NL63
    • Beta coronaviruses OC43 and HKU1
    • SARS [See Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome module for specific information].
      • SARS-associated coronavirus felt to be an animal virus, likely of bat origin.
      • Presumed hosts include civets, wild boars, muntjac deer, hares and pheasants.
      • Animal traders in China shown to have high prevalence of IgG antibodies to the SARS-CoV
    • MERS-CoV [Middle East Respiratory Syndrome--Coronavirus, originally called Human coronavirus EMC (hCoV-EMC], discovered in 2012 as cause of severe illness in Middle East]
      • Infections to date of respiratory nature, acquired in countries in or neighboring the Arabian Peninsula.
      • See MERS-CoV module for detailed information.

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Last updated: January 31, 2016