In 2012, a novel human coronavirus emerged and was tentatively named “Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus” (MERS-CoV). The high mortality rate of MERS-CoV focused attention on the ecology of the virus. It has been found that MERS-CoV belongs to the group C lineage of the genus Betacoronavirus . Coronavirus surveillance studies in different populations of bats have suggested that they are probable reservoirs for this novel virus, and phylogenetic analysis of both the spike (S1) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase proteins of MERS-CoV have revealed that it is related to bat viruses. Recently, the MERS-CoV and its neutralizing antibodies were detected in dromedary camels. Despite the limited number of reported cases of person-to-person transmission, the rapid evolution of the virus poses a continuous threat to humans worldwide. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge regarding the virology, clinical spectrum, evolution, diagnosis and treatment of MERS-CoV infections.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2014
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