¹ CAS Key Laboratory for Genomic and Precision Medicine, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China. 中国科学院 北京基因组研究所 精准基因组医学重点实验室
² China National Center for Bioinformation, Beijing 100101, China. 国家生物信息中心
³ National Genomics Data Center, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of 10 Sciences, Beijing 100101, China. 北京基因组研究所 国家基因组科学数据中心
⁴ University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. 中国科学院大学
By re-analzying public metagenomic data from 101 patients infected with influenza A virus during the 2007-2012 H1N1 flu seasons in France, we identified 22 samples with SARS-CoV sequences. In 3 of them, the SARS genome sequences could be fully assembled out of each. These sequences are highly similar (99.99% and 99.7%) to the artificially constructed recombinant 5 SARS-CoV (SARSr-CoV) strains generated by the J. Craig Venter Institute in USA.
Moreover, samples from different flu seasons have different SARS-CoV strains, and the divergence between these strains cannot be explained by natural evolution. Our study also shows that retrospective studies using public metagenomic data from past major epidemic outbreaks serves as a genomic strategy for the research of origins or spread of infectious diseases.