National / Science & Health

Japan succeeds in isolating Wuhan coronavirus in step toward vaccine and test kit

JIJI

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases said Friday that it has succeeded in cultivating and isolating the new coronavirus, first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan, from a person in Japan who has been confirmed to have the virus.

Using the isolated virus, the institute will start work to develop a vaccine and a drug for the coronavirus, as well as a test kit capable of quick diagnosis. It will also offer the isolated virus to researchers and companies, while trying to discover the infection mechanism and promoting research on the toxicity of the virus.

The isolated virus’ gene sequences 99.9 percent matched those released by the Chinese government, according to the Japanese institute.

In the isolated virus, there was no gene mutation leading to higher infectiousness or toxicity, the institute said.

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