Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

An opportunistic Pathogen Afforded Ample Opportunities: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

Version 1 : Received: 26 October 2017 / Approved: 27 October 2017 / Online: 27 October 2017 (05:45:00 CEST)

How to cite: Mackay, I.M.; Arden, K.E. An opportunistic Pathogen Afforded Ample Opportunities: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Preprints 2017, 2017100168 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201710.0168.v1). Mackay, I.M.; Arden, K.E. An opportunistic Pathogen Afforded Ample Opportunities: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Preprints 2017, 2017100168 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201710.0168.v1).

Abstract

The human coronaviruses (CoV) include HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-HKU1, some known for decades. The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) CoV briefly emerged into the human population but was controlled. In 2012 another novel severely human pathogenic CoV – Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)-CoV was identified in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where 80% of over 2,000 human cases have been recorded across five years. Targeted research remains key to developing control strategies for MERS-CoV, a cause of mild illness in its camel reservoir. A new therapeutic toolbox being developed in response to MERS is also teaching us more about how CoVs cause disease. Travel-related cases continue to challenge the world’s surveillance and response capabilities and more data are needed to understand unexplained primary transmission. Signs of genetic change have been recorded but it remains unclear whether any impact on clinical disease. How camels came to carry the virus remains academic to the control of MERS. To date, human-to-human transmission has been inefficient, but virus surveillance, characterisation and reporting are key to responding to any future change. MERS-CoV is not currently a pandemic threat; it is spread mainly with the aid of human habit and error.

Subject Areas

Middle East respiratory syndrome; MERS; coronavirus; comorbidity; infection; camel; zoonosis; emerging virus

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