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New Coronavirus Found in Beluga Whale

Date:
May 25, 2008
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
Researchers have determined a never before seen virus found in the liver of a beluga whale to be a new strain of the coronavirus. With emerging infectious diseases on the rise, it is now estimated that 75% derive from zoonotic sources. This being the case, health officials are now looking to zoological parks and aquariums for emerging virus surveillance.

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri; Sea Word, San Diego, CA; and the University of California at Davis have determined a never before seen virus found in the liver of a beluga whale to be a new strain of the coronavirus.

With emerging infectious diseases on the rise, it is now estimated that 75% derive from zoonotic sources. This being the case, health officials are now looking to zoological parks and aquariums for emerging virus surveillance.

ViroChip is a panviral DNA testing method capable of detecting thousands of known viruses as well as unknown viruses linked to previously identified viral families. In the study a ViroChip was used to evaluate the liver tissue of a male captive-born beluga whale for viruses following his death after a short illness characterized by pulmonary disease and acute liver failure.

Results revealed a highly divergent novel coronavirus deemed most similar to group 3 coronaviruses. The virus has been tentatively named coronavirus SW1.

"We have used a ViroChip to identify a novel coronavirus directly from primary animal tissues," say the researchers. "Furthermore, the identification of a previously unrecognized virus in a captive animal underscores the vast diversity of viruses that remains unexplored in animals."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K.A. Mihindukulasuriya, G. Wu, J. St. Leger, R.W. Nordhausen, D. Wang. 2008. Identification of a novel coronavirus from a beluga whale by using a panviral microarray. Journal of Virology, 82. 10: 5084-5088. doi:10.1128/JVI.02722-07

Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "New Coronavirus Found in Beluga Whale." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080522155802.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2008, May 25). New Coronavirus Found in Beluga Whale. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080522155802.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "New Coronavirus Found in Beluga Whale." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080522155802.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

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