The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a recently reported virus that is associated with severe, life-threatening and rapidly spreading primarily respiratory illness called the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). MERS-CoV possesses a unique positive sense single-stranded (ss) RNA and can undergo rapid mutation in the viral genome. This results in antigenic switching and genetic variation finally leading to the emergence of novel and new MERS-CoV subtypes which are uncontrollable by vaccines. Researchers are also finding difficulties to sort out therapeutic intervention strategies for MERS-CoV. This virus can spread from human to human but transmission from dromedary camels to humans plays a crucial epidemiological role. Dromedary camel acts as “gene mixing vessels” for MERS-CoV and these viruses undergo rapid genomic change. Viral receptors called dipeptidylpeptidase 4 are important receptors for attachment and spread of MERS-CoV in humans. The current method of laboratory confirmation is through Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) on broncho alveolar lavage, sputum and tracheal aspirates. Unfortunately, till today there are no definite antiviral drugs available for MERS-CoV.
To cite this article
Evolving trends in molecular virulence, pathogenesis, symptomatology and epidemiology of recent Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
Infectious Diseases & Tropical Medicine 2016; 2 (4): e347
Submission date: 06 Oct 2016
Revised on: 24 Oct 2016
Accepted on: 16 Nov 2016
Published online: 20 Dec 2016