[Follow up study on viruses associated with SARS among the SARS patients]

Ying Sun, Shao-jie Xin, Hong-hui Shen, Yan Hu, Dong-ping Xu, Hong Zhu, Lei Zhu, Qing Duan, Pan-yong Mao
Chinese Journal of Experimental and Clinical Virology 2006, 20 (2): 66-8

BACKGROUND: To study the existence status of the SARS-CoV, retrovirus, and the poliovirus in the bodies of the patients with SARS and the possible relationship between the three viruses and SARS.

METHODS: The clinical specimens of the nasopharyngeal swabs, sputum (or saliva), urine, fecal specimens were collected on three consecutive days from 8 patients with SARS 2 years after the recovery from SARS. SARS-CoV, reovirus and poliovirus RNA was detected by using reverse transcription (RT)-PCR; IgG antibody to the poliovirus type 1 and 3 and the antibody to SARS-CoV were determined using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

RESULTS: All the specimens were negative for SARS-CoV and reovirus by RT-PCR, but the fecal specimens from 4 persons were positive for poliovirus. The sequences of these poliovirus were highly homologous to that of human poliovirus type 1 strain sabin 1 genome at nucleotide level, but back mutations have occurred in the primary attenuating mutation sites at nucleotide position 480 (G --> A) in the 5' UTR and the nucleotide position 2795 (A --> G). No SARS-CoV, reovirus, and poliovirus were found in the normal controls. Three serum specimens were positive for the antibody to SARS-CoV. The IgG antibody to poliovirus were detected in 4 SARS patients and 23 healthy persons. No positive results for antibody to SARS-CoV were detected in the 25 healthy persons.

CONCLUSION: The positive rate of the poliovirus antibody in the serum of SARS patients 2 years after recovery was significantly different from that of the normal controls, and the positive rate of poliovirus in the fecal specimens was still very high, and more importantly back mutations have occurred in the attenuating mutation sites at nucleotide position which plays an important role in the poliomyelitis.

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