Laboratory Detection of Novel Corona Virus 2019 using Polymerase Chain Reaction

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Shafiq Ahmad Chudhary, Shahid Imtiaz and Nedal Iqbal

Since mid-December 2019, several cases of a pneumonia like disease (with symptoms including fever, difficulty in breathing, cough and invasive lesions on both lungs) of unknown cause have emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Chinese authorities made a preliminary determination that the causative agent is a novel coronavirus(2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses belonging to Coronaviridae family and the order Nidovirales. This subfamily consists of four genera alphacoronavirus, betacoronavirus, gammacoronavirus and deltacoronavirus on the basis of their phylogenetic relationships and genomic structures. These subfamilies are broadly distributed for causing infections in humans and other mammals. The alphacoronaviruses and betacoronaviruses infect only mammals. The gammacoronaviruses and deltacoronaviruses infect birds, but some of them can also infect mammals. The source of betacoronavirus 2019- nCoV is still unknown, although initial cases have been linked with south Huanan seafood market. Viral infections already known to produce similar symptoms are influenza, parainfluenza, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV). Laboratory investigations reported raised plasma levels of L2, IL7, IL10, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A, and TNFα in patients.

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