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Evolutionary history of SARS supports bats as virus source
Date:2/19/2008

oups to the evolutionary analysis provided a broader context under which to trace SARS-CoV as a way of ruling out other possible coronavirus sources that hadnt been considered, Janies said. In essence, including the outgroup viruses was a way of being sure he didnt miss the root of the SARS-CoV tree.

You need to search outside of the viruses involved in the outbreak to create a baseline so you have a point of reference, and then from that root of the tree you can read the entire history of the exchange of the virus among hosts, Janies said.

Such contextual analysis had not been done before with the SARS-CoV virus, he said. Showing where these other coronaviruses connect with SARS-CoV provides an undisputed and unbiased way of discovering the host origins of SARS-CoV and the direction of viral exchanges among various animal and human hosts.

There remains a shortage of publicly available genetic data on coronaviruses, and Janies said only through the discovery and sequencing of even more viruses can the complete SARS story be told.

We dont fully understand SARS and whether or not it will come out of the wild again. SARS has opened our eyes to other kinds of viruses. Sequencing of more coronaviruses in exotic animals will teach us about their potential for disease, he said.

Janies said the interactive map of the SARS-CoV viruss travels could help guide researchers to geographic hotspots that appear most likely to be home to animals with coronaviruses that have the potential to jump to human hosts.


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Contact: Daniel Janies
Daniel.Janies@osumc.edu
614-292-1202
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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