By: David Cyranoski and Alison Abbott


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Researchers investigating the source of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have turned their attention to the wild-animal markets of southern China.

The move follows reports that workers and animals at the markets show high rates of infection with coronaviruses, the family to which the virus believed to cause SARS belongs.

Scientists working in Hong Kong found a virus in six masked-palm civets and a raccoon dog that was very close, but not identical to the SARS virus. This animal virus is now a prime suspect in the hunt for the origins of SARS.

Link to Nature news story

Reference: Nature 423, 467 (2003)

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