When were the first human #coronaviruses (CoVs) discovered and studied?

How were these viruses associated with human #disease?

It's time to learn our history about human CoVs, and the scientists and volunteers that allowed us to identify this new group of viruses.

Mid-sixties: HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43 were identified.
1. Hamre et al. (1966)
2. McIntosh et al. (1967)
3. Tyrrell et al. (1965).

Image: Tyrrell et al. (1965).
Healthy HUMAN volunteers were infected to demonstrate that 229E and OC43 resulted in a common cold.

1. Bradburne et al. (1967, 1972)
2. Hamre et al. (1966)

Image: Bradburne et al. (1967)
Both 229E and OC43 were considered harmless or low pathogenic for humans.

This changed when #SARSCoV emerged in November 2002. This new #CoV caused severe respiratory disease.

1. Peiris et al. (2003): nejm.org/doi/full/10.10…
Later, two additional #CoVs were discovered in humans.
1. HCoV-NL63 (van der Hoek et al., 2004)
2. HCoV-HKU1 (Woo et al., 2005)

Image: van der Hoek et al. (2004)
These were followed by #MERSCoV and #SARSCoV2 in 2012 and 2019, respectively.

1. MERSCoV first report: Zaki et al. (2012)
2. #SARSCoV2 first report: Zhou et al. Nature, 2020 (but there could be other simultaneous reports)

Image: Zaki et al. NEJM (2012)
I still have questions about why some human CoVs are low pathogenic, while others cause more severe disease. Site of replication? Ease of transmission/immune modulation? Feel free to chime in.

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More from @sci_questions

25 Dec 20
I have received questions about how #viruses (eg. #SARSCoV2) jump species to move from animals (eg. bats) into humans. While it may seem like a simple process, a multitude of factors have to align to allow a #virus to successfully cross the species barrier.
. @rainamontana's review from 2017 is a great explainer of the complexity of this process: nature.com/articles/nrmic…
Several factors (represented in this figure by holes) have to align to enable a virus to jump species.
As far as #SARSCoV2 is concerned, while data supports a bat origin for the virus, the transmission route of the virus (how did the virus makes its way from bats into humans?) remains unknown. For a scientific explanation, read our forum article here: cell.com/trends/ecology…
Read 4 tweets
20 Dec 20
The mutation in the spike protein of circulating #SARSCoV2 has been the focus of many stories over the last couple of days. We and others have shown that coronaviruses exist as mixed populations (quasispecies) in a host.. here’s what we know.
We showed that MERSCoV can select for different variants in cells from an alternate host (I.e. bats): nature.com/articles/s4159…
So, what we realized is that the virus itself doesn’t actively change, but the major represented population does, based on selection pressure. So what does that mean?...
Read 10 tweets

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