Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

SARS Virus Can Change Quickly And Unpredictably, Analysis Indicates

Date:
October 3, 2003
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
The SARS virus is capable of changing rapidly and unpredictably, which could present serious challenges for managing the disease and developing drugs and vaccines to combat it, research at the University of Michigan suggests.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. --- The SARS virus is capable of changing rapidly and unpredictably, which could present serious challenges for managing the disease and developing drugs and vaccines to combat it, research at the University of Michigan suggests.

Ever since the SARS virus suddenly appeared in humans, scientists have been speculating about its origins and relationships to other, similar viruses. Using evolutionary analysis of protein sequences, the U-M researchers concluded that the SARS virus represents a different and previously little known lineage that has undergone some recombination, a process that can shuffle genes or gene regions among different viral lineages. This shuffling process provides genetic variation, which can help viruses survive and adapt in new hosts. The results appear in the September issue of the journal Infection, Genetics and Evolution.

The virus associated with SARS (known as SARS-CoV) is a type of coronavirus, so named because of the crown of spikes on its surface. Coronaviruses are divided into three categories: group one has been found in primates, carnivores and the group of animals that includes cattle, pigs and deer; group two occurs in that same group of animals as well as in rodents, birds and animals in the group that includes horses, tapirs and rhinos; group three has been found only in birds. Previous evolutionary analyses have suggested that the SARS virus is equally, but distantly, related to the three coronavirus groups.

Graduate student Joshua Rest and associate professor David Mindell, both of the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, used a technique that detects recombination by analyzing the gene for a protein known as RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RDRP). In their analysis, one end of the RDRP gene appeared most closely related to group 3 coronaviruses, but the other end appeared distantly related to all three groups, suggesting that the RDRP gene in SARS-CoV had been cobbled together from parts of RDRP genes taken from different coronavirus lineages sometime in the past.

"Our results do not mean that human infection by SARS-CoV is linked to the particular recombination event for which we found evidence," said Mindell. "But demonstration of recombination in the SARS-CoV lineages does indicate its potential for rapid, unpredictable evolutionary change, and this is a potentially important challenge for public health management and for drug and vaccine development."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. "SARS Virus Can Change Quickly And Unpredictably, Analysis Indicates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031003060535.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (2003, October 3). SARS Virus Can Change Quickly And Unpredictably, Analysis Indicates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031003060535.htm
University Of Michigan. "SARS Virus Can Change Quickly And Unpredictably, Analysis Indicates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/10/031003060535.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital acknowledged Wednesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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