The Viroscience lab of Erasmus MC and Dr. Zaki of the Soliman Fakeeh Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia have identified and characterised a novel coronavirus within the framework of EMPERIE. The virus was first isolated by Dr. Zaki in June 2012 from a patient who died from pneumonia. Using the virus discovery platform established in the framework of EMPERIE, the virus was sequenced and identified as a novel human coronavirus in July 2012. Yesterday the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in the United Kingdom reported a second case infected with the same virus. Sequence data from both coronaviruses were compared and found to be 99.5% identical.
Coronaviruses are present in various species such as bats, birds, cats, dogs, pigs, mice, horses, whales, and humans. These coronaviruses can cross over to humans as was the case with SARS. There are now six known human coronaviruses, inlcuding the SARS Coronavirus. The virus will be further investigated within the framework of EMPERIE and ANTIGONE. For more information visit: