Everything you ever wanted to know about the Family Coronaviridae -

and more...


by Radhika Dasmahapatra

for Human Biology 115A, Humans and Viruses
Robert Siegel, Instructor


Hi everyone and welcome to Radhika's Coronavirus page. What are coronaviruses? What do they do? Why are they important? This page will answer these pressing questions and more. In addition to discussing basic viral features, the focus of the page is on the most common clinical manifestation of Human Coronavirus infection, the Common Cold.

Historical notes

Coronavirus was first isolated from chickens in 1937 by Beaudette and Hudson. After the discovery of Rhinoviruses in the 1950's, more than 50% of colds still could not be ascribed to known agents. In 1965, Tyrrell and Bynoe used cultures of human cilliated embryonal trachea to propagate the first human Coronavirus in vitro. Now, approximately 13 species are known to be in this family, some of which infect humans. Coronaviruses of cattle, pigs, rodents, cats, dogs and birds also exist. When the the family was distinguished on the basis of its distinctive morphology, it received separate classification and the name corona because of the crownlike appearance of the surface projections.

+Click on the image to see a negatively stained electron micrograph of a coronavirus, courtesy of A.J. Cann, University of Leicester (UK).

+Key Facts About the Coronavirus family - Click here to learn about The Basics, Main Coronavirus Gene Products, Representative Human Viruses

+ Transmission - The primary route of transimission for the genus coronavirus is respiratory or through fomites. Torovirus, on the other hand is most commonly spread through fecal-oral transmission.

+ Coronavirus and the common cold

Follow this link for comprehensive information on Management, Therapy, and Prevention of the common cold.

+Additional issues - a list of some interesting features of the Coronavirus family molecular biology

+ Some fun things to play with...

Other Coronavirus web pages  


Created by Radhika Dasmahapatra, radhikad@leland.stanford.edu.