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Study Analyzes How SARS Virus Changed As It Spread Across the Globe

A study from Singapore published online in The Lancet today traces the genetic variance between 14 isolates of the SARS virus from four different countries.


Researchers led by Edison Liu from the Genome Institute of Singapore sequenced the SARS genome of cultured isolates from five patients in Singapore and compared it to sequences of viral isolates from Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou (China), Canada, and Vietnam.


They identified 129 sequence variations with 16 recurrent variant sequences. Common variant sequences at four loci defined two distinct genotypes of the SARS virus in China; other common sequence variants further distinguished the geographical origins of the isolates, especially between Singapore and Beijing.


According to scientists from the University of Ottawa, Canada, who published a comment in The Lancet, the observed mutations may be due to adaptation in culture and suggest a remarkable genetic conservation of the virus since the outbreak was first documented. "SARS-CoV is not likely to change rapidly and thus may not readily mutate to a benign infection, as seen with most other infectious agents transmitted by direct contact," the scientists state. However, they add: "The apparent genetic stability makes a vaccine seem more achievable."


InforSense Donates KDE Software to Shanghai for SARS Research (March 8, 2003)

CombiMatrix Develops siRNA to Target SARS Virus (May 7, 2003)


Focus Tech Claims First RT-PCR SARS Diagnostic (May 5, 2003)

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Roche to Launch RT-PCR-based SARS Diagnostic by July (April 28, 2003)

///issues/news//121956-1.html" Line...(April 25, 2003)

NCID said to Launch PCR Test for SARS Next Week ( ///issues/news//121956-1.html""Arial, Helvetica">CombiMatrix's Ali Arjomand on Developing a SARS Microarray (BioArray News, April 25, 2003)

///issues/news//121956-1.html"">University of Manitoba Proteomics Researchers Tackle SARS Virus Proteins (ProteoMonitor, April 21, 2003)
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Singapore Genome Institute Joins SARS Sequencing Fray (April 16, 2003)

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CDC Completes SARS Virus Genome Draft On Heels of Canadian Team  (April 14, 2003)


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