The University of Hong Kong announced Thursday that it has completed the genetic sequencing of coronavirus that may have a role in causing the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Lennon Tsang, spokesman for the Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, told Xinhua that his university became the world's third institution that completed the genetic sequencing of coronavirus after Canada's Michael Smith Gerome Science Center and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
He said the research finding could help doctors here find more effective medicine for the treatment of SARS patients.
The University of Hong Kong was the first in the world to discover on March 22 that the coronavirus might have caused SARS.
Tsang said researchers of his university will use the sequencing result to speed up the development of the second and third generations of DNA testing methods to find out people infected with the virus.
He said the first generation test method, applied in several Hong Kong hospitals as of March 27, has an effective rate of 60 percent to 70 percent while the second and third generation test methods will surely be more accurate.
Tsang said research finding indicated that SARS coronavirus may come from animals as the genes of SARS virus have similarities with that of pigs, cows and rats, though researchers here are still not sure what animals have caused the disease.
Researchers from the University of Hong Kong have published their research findings in well-known medical journals such as Lancet and New England Magazine of Medicine on April 8 and March 31, respectively.