On Feb.7, Fudan researchers isolated the 2019-nCov strain from the multiple nose/throat swab samples from the confirmed cases provided by SCDC, using vero E6 and Huh7 cells as substrates.
This achievement was made by Fudan University together with the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention (SCDC) Biosafety Level 3 Laboratory (BSL-3 laboratory) .
Researchers test at the BSL-3 Lab
The virus strain grew rapidly in cell cultures, resulting in a high titer of the virus. In the indirect immunofluorescence test, the researchers observed that virus-infected cells formed syncytia similar to those found in coronavirus-infected cells.
At present, the Lab has overall completed the whole-genome sequencing and analysis of the strain, which is found to bear a homological rate of 99.9% compared with the 2019-ncov reference genome (EPI_ISL_402119, GISAID). After further purification, amplification and verification, this strain will become an important basis for the development of NCP vaccines and antiviral drugs as well as research on the pathogenesis of the disease.
Virus-infected cells are found to form syncytia in the indirect immunofluorescence test.
Academician Wen Yumei of Fudan University believes that the isolated 2019-nCov strain, plus real-time drug screening, neutralization testing and virus mutation monitoring, can facilitate NCP-related research in Shanghai.
Editor: Deng Jianguo, Wang Mengqi