Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human Interference May Have Caused SARS To Jump Species

Date:
April 28, 2003
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
In the last few months, severe acute respiratory syndrome has infected thousands in Asia, traveled to various parts of the world and gained international attention. Sanjay Kapil, a Kansas State University associate professor of diagnostic medicine pathobiology, says human interference with domestic and wild animals could be a factor in the development of the disease.

MANHATTAN -- In the last few months, severe acute respiratory syndrome has infected thousands in Asia, traveled to various parts of the world and gained international attention.

In April 2003, the disease was conclusively identified as a type of coronavirus unlike any other known human or animal virus in the Coronavirus family.

Sanjay Kapil, a Kansas State University associate professor of diagnostic medicine pathobiology, says human interference with domestic and wild animals could be a factor in the development of the disease.

Samples of the pathogens identified in severe acute respiratory syndrome look similar to coronaviruses found in animals. Because the sequences found in human samples are unique, the virus must have changed substantially when it transferred from animals to humans, Kapil said.

Coronaviruses are known to cause severe illness and respiratory disease in animals. They are known primarily for causing the common cold in humans and have the ability to cause moderate upper-respiratory illness.

Kapil, who has studied coronaviruses since 1986, said the severe acute respiratory disease virus probably originated in animals and then jumped species to infect humans.

"When humans interfere with domestic and wild animals, viruses jump species," Kapil said. "Animals play a role in transmission by acting as mixing vessels. AIDS and the West Nile Virus entered the population in the same way."

Coronaviruses can pick up sequences from other sources, which gives them the ability to evolve and recombine with other coronaviruses. By examining the published severe acute respiratory syndrome sequences, the coronavirus can be observed as unlike previously known coronaviruses and possessing genetic sequences from various coronavirus groups, Kapil said.

"Viruses can mutate or spontaneously change, which means that two different coronaviruses can combine to create a third monster," Kapil said. "It is very likely that the virus causing severe acute respiratory syndrome has evolved from a virus that first infected animals and has evolved to a point that it has started creating a strange disease that causes high fever and high mortality in humans."

The number of suspected severe acute respiratory syndrome cases has grown to more than 3,500 and has killed more than 180 people worldwide according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms include high fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. The disease is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia and has spread elsewhere including Canada, Europe and the United States.

Kapil said it is likely that China's high population density, eating of exotic foods and close contact with animals on a regular basis has contributed to the spread of the disease.

"Now that the virus has been identified, scientists can begin to predict its behavior," Kapil said. "Predictions can be made about how the disease affects the body, how it spreads and what vaccines may be effective in treating it."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Human Interference May Have Caused SARS To Jump Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030428083611.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2003, April 28). Human Interference May Have Caused SARS To Jump Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030428083611.htm
Kansas State University. "Human Interference May Have Caused SARS To Jump Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030428083611.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins