Bats, Civets and the Emergence of SARS

Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 315)

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was the first pandemic transmissible disease of previously unknown aetiology in the twenty-first century. Early epidemiologic investigations suggested an animal origin for SARS-CoV. Virological and serological studies indicated that masked palm civets ( Paguma larvata ), together with two other wildlife animals, sampled from a live animal market were infected with SARS-CoV or a closely related virus. Recently, horseshoe bats in the genus Rhinolophus have been identified as natural reservoir of SARS-like coronaviruses. Here, we review studies by different groups demonstrating that SARS-CoV succeeded in spillover from a wildlife reservoir (probably bats) to human population via an intermediate host(s) and that rapid virus evolution played a key role in the adaptation of SARS-CoVs in at least two nonreservoir species within a short period.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Nipah Virus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Patient Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Outbreak 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSIRO Livestock IndustriesAustralian Animal Health LaboratoryGeelongAustralia

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