Identification of coronavirus sequences in carp cDNA from Wuhan, China

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus sequences were identified in two separate complementary DNA (cDNA) pools. The first pool was from a Carassius auratus (crusian carp) cell line and the second was from Ctenopharyngodon idella (grass carp) head kidney tissue. BLAST analysis suggests that these sequences belong to SARS-like coronaviruses, and that they are not evolutionarily conserved in other species. Investigation of the submitting laboratories revealed that two laboratories from the Institute of Hydrobiology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, China performed the research and submitted the cDNA libraries to GenBank. This institution is very close in proximity to the Wuhan South China Seafood Wholesale Market where SARS-CoV-2 first amplified in the human population. It is possible that these sequences are an artifact of the bioinformatics pipeline that was used. It is also possible that SARS-like coronaviruses are a common environmental pathogen in the region that may be in aquatic habitats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1629-1633
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • SARS coronavirus
  • epidemiology
  • virus classification
  • water-borne epidemics


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