Australians scientists recreate coronavirus first time outside of China

WION Web Team Melbourne, Australia Jan 29, 2020, 12.29 PM(IST)

Coronavirus was artificially recreated by a group of Australian scientists. (Image courtesy: Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity) Photograph:( Others )

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The virus was grown from a patient who had arrived at the institute on January 24.

A team of scientists in Australia have successfully replicated a lab-grown version of coronavirus the first to be recreated outside of China, is a significant breakthrough that could help combat the global spread of the illness.

The researchers at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne said they would share the sample, which was grown from an infected patient, with the World Health Organization and laboratories around the world.

The virus was grown from a patient who had arrived at the institute on January 24.


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"The virus can be used in the assessment of the effectiveness of vaccines, in particular, and of medicines. It also gives us the opportunity to create a first-generation antibody test and that's important in both the clinical management of patients who may be late in the illness and past the point where they're shedding the virus that we detect with molecular techniques,'' said Mike Catton, director of Victorian infectious diseases laboratory.

''It's also really important for us to look at things like asymptomatic infection with the virus or mild infection that hasn't come to the attention of health authorities and those patients haven't been tested and identified as cases. Therefore, an antibody test is the only way to answer some of those epidemiological questions which get you to questions of how many cases, and how does the number of deaths relate to the number of cases that you're seeing on the ground so," he added.

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The Australia-grown virus sample would be used to generate an antibody test, which would allow detection of the virus in patients who had not shown symptoms, as well as contributing to the creation of a vaccine, the institute said.

The flu-like virus broke out in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of last year and has killed 106 people and infected more than 2,800 people. 


It spreads in droplets from coughs and sneezes and has an incubation period of up to 14 days.