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WHO says coronavirus causes SARS

genome sequence confirms uniqueness and link to disease.

Robert Walgate(walgate@scienceanalysed.com)

The World Health Organization (WHO) today (April 16) announced that it believes the new coronavirus, dubbed "SARS virus", causes SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

The organization claimed that its collaborating laboratories have concluded the coronavirus meets all four of "Koch's postulates" for a causative agent: it must be found in all cases of the disease, it must be isolated from the host and grown in pure culture, it must reproduce the original disease when introduced into a susceptible host, and it must be found in the experimental host so infected.

The key to this announcement were the last two tests, performed in monkeys by Albert Osterhaus and colleagues at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, one of WHO's global collaborative research network, which now consists of 13 laboratories.

Klaus Stöhr, WHO virologist and the coordinator of the network, said at a press conference today, "The people in this network have...

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