SARS-CoV and other emerging coronaviruses

Published on November 28, 2018   63 min

A selection of talks on Respiratory Diseases

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My name is Ralph Baric. I'm a professor in epidemiology and microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I've studied coronaviruses for 30 years. Now, this presentation will focus on SARS coronavirus and other emerging coronaviruses, discussing their structure, where they come from, how they replicate, and how they cause disease.
And this first slide basically shows electron micrographs of two of the most notable coronaviruses that the public has heard about. The SARS coronavirus which was associated with a large epidemic in 2003 is on the left and MERS coronavirus is shown on the right. Both of these viruses have the capability of causing high morbidity and mortality in human populations and causing economic chaos as evidenced by this quote from the Prime Minister of Singapore during the SARS epidemic, where he talked about the impact of the SARS epidemic on the economy of Singapore. During this epidemic, the economic losses worldwide were thought to approach $40 billion.
So, to start at the beginning, I want to discuss the nidovirales family. Both SARS and MERS are members of the nidovirales family. These are a large group of animal viruses. They are enveloped. They have a lipid bilayer. They have the large positive polarity single-stranded RNA virus genomes. The genome is in the form of a nested set which I'll discuss in more detail later. There are four genus: the arteriviruses, the coronaviruses, the mesoniviridae, and the roniviradae. So, today's talk really focuses exclusively on the coronoviradae which are further divided into the alpha coronaviruses, the beta coronaviruses, and the gamma coronaviruses. And our talk will focus on the beta coronaviruses which are then further broken into the 2a, the 2b, and the 2c, and the 2d. SARS coronavirus is a member of the 2b coronaviruses, and MERS coronavirus is a member of the 2c coronaviruses.