Watching bat coronaviruses with next-generation sequencing

On January 21, the first case of the Wuhan coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, was diagnosed in the United States. The virus has killed at least 17 people in China and sickened hundreds, primarily in Asian countries. Coronaviruses (CoVs) in bats have been linked to that outbreak, as well as outbreaks of diseases like SARS and MERS. Next-generation sequencing may be used to monitor the virus and how it spreads. This study describes a targeted NGS approach that can increase sensitivity and reduce cost. Researchers say this approach can help them maintain a library of genetic material from emerging CoVs, and track the origin and evolution of CoVs that cause outbreaks.

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