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Coronaviruses

  • Arnold S. Monto

Abstract

Coronaviridae are a monogeneric family of RNA-containing agents that have been associated etiologically with respiratory illnesses in man and with a number of other diseases in laboratory and domestic animals. They also have been associated with diarrheal disease and other conditions in humans, although for differing reasons these relationships cannot be considered etiologic. The name for the family was adopted to describe the characteristic fringe of crownlike projections seen around the viruses by electron microscopy; these spikes are petal shaped rather than sharp or pointed as is the case with the myxoviruses. Like the myxoviruses, the coronaviruses contain essential lipids and are 80–160 nm in diameter.(28) Unlike them, the coronaviruses are positive-stranded.(66,79) Whereas the an imal strains are readily isolated in several different sys-tems, recovery of the human strains has posed major problems, partially related to species specificity. (120) A number of these strains have been isolated only in organ culture of the human respiratory tract. This factor has made it difficult to determine the relationship among isolates and has complicated efforts to understand the role of these viruses in human illness. Therefore, much of the information on the epidemiology of the agents has come from serological studies.

Keywords

Infectious Bronchitis Virus Mouse Hepatitis Virus Acute Viral Infection Human Coronavirus Coronavirus Infection 
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 Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnold S. Monto
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Epidemiology and International Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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