Scientists from China Agricultural University said Thursday there has been no
evidence to indicate the civet cats are sources of severe acute respiratory
syndrome (SARS) virus.
The university's president Chen Zhangliang said
researchers of the university collected 732 specimens of 65 kinds of animals
from across China for the research, including civet cats, monkeys, bats and
Using the internationally-accepted gene detection method, called RT-PCR
technology, they did not find SARS virus on any of the 732 specimens, said Chen.
However, they found three new coronaviruses on civet cats, hares and some
other wild animals, which proved coronaviruses do exist on wild animals and they
are capable of mutation, said Chen.
In May, scientists in south China's Guangdong province said they have traced
the origin of SARS virus to civet cats.