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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Oct 8;110(41):16598-603. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1310744110. Epub 2013 Sep 23.

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes transient lower respiratory tract infection in rhesus macaques.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Virology, Rocky Mountain Veterinary Branch, and Microscopy Unit, Research Technologies Branch, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT 59840.

Abstract

In 2012, a novel betacoronavirus, designated Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus or MERS-CoV and associated with severe respiratory disease in humans, emerged in the Arabian Peninsula. To date, 108 human cases have been reported, including cases of human-to-human transmission. The availability of an animal disease model is essential for understanding pathogenesis and developing effective countermeasures. Upon a combination of intratracheal, ocular, oral, and intranasal inoculation with 7 × 10(6) 50% tissue culture infectious dose of the MERS-CoV isolate HCoV-EMC/2012, rhesus macaques developed a transient lower respiratory tract infection. Clinical signs, virus shedding, virus replication in respiratory tissues, gene expression, and cytokine and chemokine profiles peaked early in infection and decreased over time. MERS-CoV caused a multifocal, mild to marked interstitial pneumonia, with virus replication occurring mainly in alveolar pneumocytes. This tropism of MERS-CoV for the lower respiratory tract may explain the severity of the disease observed in humans and the, up to now, limited human-to-human transmission.

KEYWORDS:

DPP4; emerging infectious disease

PMID:
24062443
PMCID:
PMC3799368
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1310744110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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