Coronavirus Electron Micrograph - Image Source: CDC/Dr. Fred Murphy
In late 2002, an outbreak of severe, atypical pneumonia was reported in Guangdong Province of China.
The disease had a high mortality rate, and was quickly expanding to other countries.
In April 2003, a previously unknown coronavirus was isolated from patients and subsequently proven to be the causative agent
according to Koch's postulates in experiments on monkeys. The virus has been named SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO)
were 8,098 probable SARS cases worldwide during the 2003 outbreak, resulting in 774 deaths.
This Web resource provides data and information relevant to SARS coronavirus. It includes links to the most recent sequence data and publications, to other SARS related resources,
and a pre-computed alignment
of genome sequences from various isolates.
The genome of SARS-CoV consists of a single, positive-strand RNA that is approximately 29,700 nucleotides long.
The overall genome organization
of SARS-CoV is similar
to that of other coronaviruses. The reference genome includes 13 genes
which encode at least 14 proteins
Two large overlapping reading frames (ORFs) encompass 71% of the genome. The remainder has 12 potential ORFs, including genes for structural proteins S (spike
E (small envelope
and N (nucleocapsid
). Other potential ORFs code for unique putative SARS-CoV-specific polypeptides that lack obvious sequence similarity to known proteins.
A detailed analysis of the SARS-CoV genome has been published in J Mol Biol 2003; 331: 991-1004.