Coronavirus Infection And Immunity

Helmut Wege, Institut fur Virusdiagnostik, Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals, Insel Riems, Germany

The family of Coronaviridae was defined around 1968, primarily by morphologic criteria. The virions are pleomorphic to spherical-shaped particles (120-160 nm diameter), which are surrounded by a fringe of club- or pear-shaped surface projections (12-

24 nm long; Figure 1). The virus has a lipid envelope and contains a single-stranded RNA genome of positive polarity. Coronaviruses infect humans, mammals and birds. Based on molecular criteria, the toro-viruses represent a second genus within this family.

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