High Recombination and Mutation Rates in Mouse Hepatitis Virus Suggest that Coronaviruses may be Potentially Important Emerging Viruses
- 213 Downloads
Coronaviruses are common respiratory and gastrointestinal pathogens of mammals and birds. Not only do they cause about 15–20% of the common colds in humans, they are also occasionally associated with infections of the lower respiratory tract and central nervous system1. The prototype, mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), contains a 32 kb genomic RNA which encodes two large orfs at the 5′ end, designated orf la and orf lb. Orf lb contains highly conserved polymerase, helicase and metal binding motifs typical of viral RNA polymerases while orf 1 a contains membrane and cysteine rich domains, and serine-and poliovirus 3c-like protease motifs1. The large size of the genome coupled with it’s unique replication strategy and high recombination frequencies during mixed infection predict a considerable capacity to evolve1,2,3.
KeywordsRecombination Frequency Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea Virus Baby Hamster Kidney Mouse Hepatitis Virus Species Barrier
- 4.Morse, S.S. 1994. The viruses of the future? Emerging viruses and evolution. In: Morse, S.S. (eds), The Evolutionary Biology of Viruses, Raven Press, Ltd, New York.Google Scholar