|Founder||Chen Huagui, Gao Shangyin|
|Headquarters||Xiaohongshan, Wuchang District, Wuhan, Hubei, China|
Secretary of Party Committee
|Gong Peng, Guan Wuxiang, Xiao Gengfu|
|Chinese Academy of Sciences|
|Wuhan Institute of Virology|
|Simplified Chinese||中国 科学院 武汉 病毒 研究所|
The Wuhan Institute of Virology,Chinese Academy of Sciences (WIV;Chinese :中国科学院武汉病毒研究所) is a research institute on virology administered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS),which reports to the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The institute is one of nine independent organisations in the Wuhan Branch of the CAS. Located in Jiangxia District,Wuhan,Hubei,it opened mainland China's first biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory. The institute has collaborated with the Galveston National Laboratory in the United States,the Centre International de Recherche en Infectiologie in France,and the National Microbiology Laboratory in Canada. The institute has been an active premier research center for the study of coronaviruses.
The WIV was founded in 1956 as the Wuhan Microbiology Laboratory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). In 1961,it became the South China Institute of Microbiology,and in 1962 was renamed Wuhan Microbiology Institute. In 1970,it became the Microbiology Institute of Hubei Province when the Hubei Commission of Science and Technology took over the administration. In June 1978,it was returned to the CAS and renamed Wuhan Institute of Virology.
In 2003,the Chinese academy of Sciences approved the construction of mainland China's first million),in collaboration and with assistance from the French government's CIRI lab). The new laboratory building has 3000 m2 of BSL-4 space,and also 20 BSL-2 and two BSL-3 laboratories. The BSL-4 facilities were accredited by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) in January 2017, with the BSL-4 level lab put into operation in January 2018. The highest level biosafety installation is necessary because the Institute investigated highly dangerous viruses,such as SARS,influenza H5N1,Japanese encephalitis,and dengue,along with germ causing anthrax.biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory at the WIV. In 2014,the WIV's National Bio-safety Laboratory was built at a cost of 300 million yuan (US$44
The National Bio-safety Laboratory has strong ties to the Galveston National Laboratory in the University of Texas.It also had ties with Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory until WIV staff scientists Xiangguo Qiu and her husband Keding Cheng,who were also remunerated by the Canadian government,were escorted from the Canadian lab for undisclosed reasons in July 2019. Researchers from the WIV have also collaborated in gain of function research on coronaviruses with American colleagues.
A number of safety precautions were taken into consideration when building the Wuhan lab. The lab was built far away from any flood plain. It was also built to withstand a magnitude-7 earthquake,even though the region has no history of earthquakes. Many Wuhan lab staff were trained at a BSL-4 lab in Lyon,France.Researchers were also trained in Australia,Canada,the United States and then in-house before the lab was operational. Scientists such as U.S. molecular biologist Richard H. Ebright,who had expressed concern of previous escapes of the SARS virus at Chinese laboratories in Beijing and had been troubled by the pace and scale of China's plans for expansion into BSL-4 laboratories, called the institute a "world-class research institution that does world-class research in virology and immunology" while he noted that the WIV is a world leader in the study of bat coronaviruses.
In 2005,a group including researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology published research into the origin of the SARS coronavirus,finding that China's horseshoe bats are natural reservoirs of SARS-like coronaviruses.Continuing this work over a period of years,researchers from the institute sampled thousands of horseshoe bats in locations across China,isolating over 300 bat coronavirus sequences.
In 2015,an international team including two scientists from the institute published successful research on whether a bat coronavirus could be made to infect a human cell line (HeLa). The team engineered a hybrid virus,combining a bat coronavirus with a SARS virus that had been adapted to grow in mice and mimic human disease. The hybrid virus was able to infect human cells.
In 2017,a team from the institute announced that coronaviruses found in horseshoe bats at a cave in Yunnan contain all the genetic pieces of the SARS virus,and hypothesized that the direct progenitor of the human virus originated in this cave. The team,who spent five years sampling the bats in the cave,noted the presence of a village only a kilometer away,and warned of "the risk of spillover into people and emergence of a disease similar to SARS".
In 2018,another paper by a team from the institute reported the results of a serological study of a sample of villagers residing near these bat caves (near Xiyang Township 夕阳乡in Jinning District of Yunnan). According to this report,6 out of the 218 local residents in the sample carried antibodies to the bat coronaviruses in their blood,indicating the possibility of transmission of the infections from bats to people.
Prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,coronavirus research at the WIV has been conducted in BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratories.
In December 2019,cases of pneumonia associated with an unknown coronavirus were reported to health authorities in Wuhan. The institute checked its coronavirus collection and found the new virus had 96% genetic similarity to RaTG13,a virus its researchers had discovered in horseshoe bats in southwest China.This strain is linked to travels made regularly between 2012 and 2015 by a WIV team visiting Yunnan Province,about a thousand miles from Wuhan.
As the virus spread worldwide,the institute continued its investigation. In February 2020,a team led by Shi Zhengli at the institute were the first to identify,analyze and name the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV),upload it to public databases for scientists around the world to understand,and publish papers in Nature . On 19 February 2020,the lab released a letter on its website describing how they successfully obtained the whole virus genome. In February 2020,in a move that raised concerns regarding intellectual property rights, the institute applied for a patent in China for the use of remdesivir,an experimental drug owned by Gilead Sciences,which the institute found inhibited the virus in vitro. The WIV said it would not exercise its new Chinese patent rights "if relevant foreign companies intend to contribute to the prevention and control of China's epidemic."
In April 2020,the Trump administration terminated an NIH grant to research how coronaviruses spread from bats to humans.New York-based,NIH–funded EcoHealth Alliance has been the subject of controversy and increased scrutiny due to its ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Under political pressure,the National Institutes of Health (NIH) withdrew funding to EcoHealth Alliance in July 2020.
The laboratory has been the focus of conspiracy theoriesand unsubstantiated speculation about the origin of the virus. This has been a source of political tension between China and other countries,including Australia, and the United States. There have been allegations that the initial outbreak was provoked by either manipulation or accidental release of a virus held in the WIV facilities,and that the participants may have conspired to cover it up. Shi Zhengli denied that there was a connection between the WIV and the emergence of COVID-19. In February 2021,after investigations in Wuhan,the WHO team said a laboratory leak origin for COVID-19 was "extremely unlikely", confirming what experts expected about the likely origins and early transmission. In response to the report,politicians,including Joe Biden and Boris Johnson, as well as WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,have called for further investigations into the origins of COVID-19. The scientific opinion that an accidental leak is possible,but unlikely,has remained steady.
The Institute contains the following research centers:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, the first identified strain of the SARS coronavirus species severe acute respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV). The syndrome caused the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak. Around late 2017, Chinese scientists traced the virus through the intermediary of Asian palm civets to cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in Xiyang Yi Ethnic Township, Yunnan.
Coronaviruses are a group of related RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans and birds, they cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal. Mild illnesses in humans include some cases of the common cold, while more lethal varieties can cause SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. In cows and pigs they cause diarrhea, while in mice they cause hepatitis and encephalomyelitis.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus is a species of virus consisting of many known strains phylogenetically related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 (SARS-CoV-1) that have been shown to possess the capability to infect humans, bats, and certain other mammals. These enveloped, positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses enter host cells by binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. The SARSr-CoV species is a member of the genus Betacoronavirus and of the subgenus Sarbecovirus.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 1 is a strain of coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the respiratory illness responsible for the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak. It is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus which infects the epithelial cells within the lungs. The virus enters the host cell by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. It infects humans, bats, and palm civets.
EcoHealth Alliance is a US-based non-governmental organization with a stated mission of protecting people, animals, and the environment from emerging infectious diseases. The nonprofit is focused on research that aims to prevent pandemics and promote conservation in hotspot regions worldwide.
Bat SARS-like coronavirus WIV1, also sometimes called SARS-like coronavirus WIV1, is a strain of severe acute respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV) isolated from Chinese rufous horseshoe bats in 2013. Like all coronaviruses, virions consist of single-stranded positive-sense RNA enclosed within an envelope.
Shi Zhengli is a Chinese virologist who researches SARS-like coronaviruses of bat origin. Shi directs the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). In 2017, Shi and her colleague Cui Jie discovered that the SARS coronavirus likely originated in a population of cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in Xiyang Yi Ethnic Township, Yunnan. She came to prominence in the popular press as "Batwoman" during the COVID-19 pandemic for her work with bat coronaviruses. Shi was included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2), also known as the coronavirus, is the virus that causes COVID-19, the respiratory illness responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The virus was previously referred to by its provisional name, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and has also been called human coronavirus 2019. First identified in the city of Wuhan, Hubei, China, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. SARS‑CoV‑2 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus that is contagious in humans. As described by the US National Institutes of Health, it is the successor to SARS-CoV-1, the virus that caused the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak.
Coronavirus diseases are caused by viruses in the coronavirus subfamily, a group of related RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans and birds, the group of viruses cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal. Mild illnesses in humans include some cases of the common cold, while more lethal varieties can cause SARS, MERS and COVID-19. As of 2021, 45 species are registered as coronaviruses, whilst 11 diseases have been identified, as listed below.
The Wuhan Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, simply known as the Huanan Seafood Market, was a live animal and seafood market in Jianghan District, Wuhan City, the capital of Hubei Province in Central China.
SHC014-CoV is a SARS-like coronavirus (SL-COV) which infects horseshoe bats. It was discovered in Kunming County in Yunnan Province, China. It was discovered along with SL-CoV Rs3367, which was the first bat SARS-like coronavirus shown to directly infect a human cell line. The line of Rs3367 that infected human cells was named Bat SARS-like coronavirus WIV1.
Peter Daszak is a British zoologist, consultant and public expert on disease ecology, in particular on zoonosis. He is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit non-governmental organization that supports various programs on global health and pandemic prevention. He is also a member of the Center for Infection and Immunity at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Daszak was involved in investigations into the initial outbreak which eventually developed into the COVID-19 pandemic and became a member of the World Health Organization team sent to investigate the origin of COVID-19 in China.
This article documents the chronology and epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in 2019, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The first human cases of COVID-19 known to have been identified were in Wuhan, Hubei, China, in December 2019.
The history of coronaviruses is a reflection of the discovery of the diseases caused by coronaviruses and identification of the viruses. It starts with the first report of a new type of upper-respiratory tract disease among chickens in North Dakota, U.S., in 1931. The causative agent was identified as a virus in 1933. By 1936, the disease and the virus were recognised as unique from other viral disease. They became known as infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), but later officially renamed as Avian coronavirus.
Bat coronavirus RaTG13 is a SARS-like betacoronavirus that infects the horseshoe bat Rhinolophus affinis. It was discovered in 2013 in bat droppings from a mining cave near the town of Tongguan in Mojiang county in Yunnan, China. Recent research suggests that BANAL-52, a strain of coronavirus found in bats in Laos is a closer match to SARS-CoV2 than RaTG13 is.
There are several ongoing efforts by scientists, governments, international organisations, and others to determine the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Most scientists say that as with other pandemics in human history, the virus is likely of zoonotic origin in a natural setting, and ultimately originated from a bat-borne virus. Several other explanations, including many conspiracy theories, have been proposed about the origins of the virus.
RmYN02 is a bat-derived strain of Severe acute respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus. It was discovered in bat droppings collected between May and October 2019 from sites in Mengla County, Yunnan Province, China. It is the second-closest known relative of SARS-CoV-2, the virus strain that causes COVID-19, sharing 93.3% nucleotide identity at the scale of the complete virus genome. RmYN02 contains an insertion at the S1/S2 cleavage site in the spike protein, similar to SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that such insertion events can occur naturally, which was the subject of a paper sent to Nature.
The COVID-19 lab leak theory proposes that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, resulting in the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea developed from the circumstantial evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is close in proximity to the pandemic's early outbreak and from suspicions about the secretiveness of the Chinese government's response to the pandemic. Scientists from the WIV were known to have collected SARS-related coronaviruses; the allegation that the institute performed undisclosed risky work on such viruses is central to some versions of the idea. Some versions of the theory, particularly those alleging human intervention in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, are based on misinformation or misrepresentations of scientific evidence.
DRASTIC is a loose collection of internet activists investigating the origins of COVID-19, in particular the lab leak theory. DRASTIC is composed of about 30 core members, whose activity is primarily organized through the social media website Twitter. They formed in February 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. DRASTIC members have called for a "full and unrestricted investigation" into the origins of COVID-19, conducted independently of the World Health Organization. Most scientists think that COVID-19 likely had a natural origin, and some have considered that a potential lab leak is worth investigating.
China COVID-19 cover-up refers to the efforts of the Government of China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to hide information about the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the origins of SARS-CoV-2. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Chinese government has made efforts to obscure the initial outbreak of the disease, clamp down on domestic debate or dissent about it, hinder further research into its origins, and spread false counter-narratives about the virus. The Chinese government has stated that no cover-up regarding the COVID-19 outbreak has taken place.
Wang Yanyi, born in 1981, PhD, researcher. She is currently the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the leader of the molecular immunology discipline group... Xiao Gengfu, born in 1966, PhD, researcher. Current Secretary of the Party Committee and Deputy Director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology...
The viral sequences, most researchers say, also knock down the idea the pathogen came from a virology institute in Wuhan.
Some may verge on the unbelievable, such as the conspiracy theory that gain-of-function research conducted on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronaviruses in 2015 is connected to the emergence of COVID-19 that made it to British tabloids
politicians, journalists, talk-show hosts and some scientists have put forward unsubstantiated claims linking the coronavirus to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), in the Chinese city where COVID-19 was first detected
The lab leak hypothesis is an extremely unlikely pathway for COVID-19 and will not require further study as part of their work in studying the origins of the virus, Embarek says.
The investigation concluded that an animal origin was much more likely than a lab leak. But since then, some politicians, journalists and scientists have put forward unsubstantiated claims linking the coronavirus to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), in the Chinese city where COVID-19 was first detected.
the available data argue overwhelmingly against any scientific misconduct or negligence
Conspiracy theories about a possible accidental leak from either of these laboratories known to be experimenting with bats and bat CoVs that has shown some structural similarity to human SARS-CoV-2 has been suggested, but largely dismissed by most authorities.
the findings suggest that the laboratory incident hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain introduction of the virus into the human population
There is today no evidence that such an accident had happened with SARS-CoV-2.
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