Regarding the progress of the pathogenic identification of unexplained viral pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan, the reporter learned from the expert group of preliminary assessment of pathogenic test results today that as of 21:00 on January 7, 2020, a new type of coronavirus was detected in the laboratory and obtained The whole genome sequence of the virus was detected by nucleic acid detection method in a total of 15 cases of new coronavirus positive results. The virus was isolated from a positive patient sample and showed typical coronavirus appearance under electron microscope.
The expert group believes that the pathogen of this unexplained case of viral pneumonia was initially identified as a new type of coronavirus.
Tissue laboratories use genomic sequencing, nucleic acid detection, virus isolation, and other methods to etiologically detect samples from patients with alveolar lavage fluid, throat swabs, and blood.
The expert group stated that the identification of the cause of an epidemic usually requires the following:
(1) Suspicious pathogens must be found in patients, and pathogenic nucleic acids can be detected in clinical samples of patients;
(2) The pathogen can be successfully isolated from the patient's clinical sample;
(3) The isolated pathogen can cause the same disease symptoms after infecting the host animal. The patient's serum antibody titer during the recovery period increased four-fold, which can help identify the pathogen.
Finding the nucleic acid, genomic and antibody evidence of the pathogen from the patient can be done in a short time. Scientific research, such as pathogen isolation and pathogenicity identification, can take weeks. The development of specific drugs and vaccines against a new pathogen may take years to complete. The expert group believes that the pathogen of this unexplained case of viral pneumonia is initially determined as a new type of coronavirus. The next step is to conduct expert research and judgement in combination with pathogenic research, epidemiological investigation and clinical manifestations.
Coronaviruses are a group of pathogens that cause respiratory and intestinal diseases. There are many regularly arranged protrusions on the surface of this type of virus particle, and the entire virus particle is like an emperor's crown, hence the name "coronavirus". In addition to humans, coronaviruses can infect many mammals such as pigs, cattle, cats, dogs, marten, camels, bats, mice, hedgehogs, and various birds. So far, there are six known human coronaviruses. Four of these coronaviruses are more common in the population and are less pathogenic, generally causing only minor respiratory symptoms similar to the common cold. The other two coronaviruses—Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, also known as SARS Coronavirus and MERS Coronavirus, can cause severe respiratory diseases. The new coronavirus that caused the epidemic is different from the human coronaviruses that have been discovered, and further understanding of the virus requires further scientific research. (CCTV reporter Shi Yingchun )
(Responsible editor: Shan Xiaobing)