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Synthetic virus supports a bat origin for SARS
Date:11/25/2008

allowed efficient growth in mice, without causing a SARS-like disease.

The studies suggest that a very simple recombination event may have been enough to allow a coronavirus to move from one species to another, Denison said, adding that "after a virus gains the capacity to jump species, additional simple adaptations may be adequate to increase its ability to grow in the new animal host."

At all stages of design and implementation, the Vanderbilt and UNC teams acknowledged potential safety concerns and encouraged ongoing external safety reviews. Research with all bat viruses even weakened mutants was performed under the same stringent biosafety conditions used to study virulent SARS-CoV. The investigators found that human antibodies known to render SARS-CoV noninfectious also neutralized the bat SARS-like coronavirus, providing an additional safety measure.

"The approaches used here address fundamental questions in virus movement between species," Denison said, "and also could improve public health preparedness by allowing rapid responses to naturally emerging or intentionally introduced zoonotic pathogens."


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Contact: John Howser
john.howser@vanderbilt.edu
615-322-4747
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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