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J Virol. 2008 May;82(10):5084-8. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02722-07. Epub 2008 Mar 19.

Identification of a novel coronavirus from a beluga whale by using a panviral microarray.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


The emergence of viruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and Nipah virus has underscored the role of animal reservoirs in human disease and the need for reservoir surveillance. Here, we used a panviral DNA microarray to investigate the death of a captive beluga whale in an aquatic park. A highly divergent coronavirus, tentatively named coronavirus SW1, was identified in liver tissue from the deceased whale. Subsequently, the entire genome of SW1 was sequenced, yielding a genome of 31,686 nucleotides. Phylogenetic analysis revealed SW1 to be a novel virus distantly related to but most similar to group III coronaviruses.

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