Significant sequence variation of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) has never been detected since it was first reported in 2012. A MERS patient came from Korea to China in late May 2015. The patient was 44 years old and had symptoms including high fever, dry cough with a little phlegm, and shortness of breath, which are roughly consistent with those associated with MERS, and had had close contact with individuals with confirmed cases of MERS.After one month of therapy with antiviral, anti-infection, and immune-enhancing agents, the patient recovered in the hospital and was discharged. A nasopharyngeal swab sample was collected for direct sequencing, which revealed two deletion variants of MERS CoV. Deletions of 414 and 419 nt occurred between ORF5 and the E protein, resulting in a partial protein fusion or truncation of ORF5 and the E protein. Functional analysis by bioinformatics and comparison to previous studies implied that the two variants might be defective in their ability to package MERS CoV. However, the mechanism of how these deletions occurred and what effects they have need to be further investigated.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 18, 2017
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