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Sunday 29 March 2020


Definition : Betacoronaviruses (β-CoVs or Beta-CoVs) are one of four genera of coronaviruses of the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae in the family Coronaviridae, of the order Nidovirales.

Betacoronaviruses are enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses of zoonotic origin. The coronavirus genera are each composed of varying viral lineages with the betacoronavirus genus containing four such lineages. In older literature, this genus is also known as group 2 coronaviruses.

The Beta-CoVs of the greatest clinical importance concerning humans are OC43 and HKU1 of the A lineage, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 (which causes the disease COVID-19) of the B lineage, and MERS-CoV of the C lineage.

MERS-CoV is the first betacoronavirus belonging to lineage C that is known to infect humans.

The Alphacoronavirus and Betacoronavirus genera descend from the bat gene pool.