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PLoS Curr. 2013 Nov 13;5. pii: ecurrents.outbreaks.22254b58675cdebc256dbe3c5aa6498b. doi: 10.1371/currents.outbreaks.22254b58675cdebc256dbe3c5aa6498b.

Prediction of Intrinsic Disorder in MERS-CoV/HCoV-EMC Supports a High Oral-Fecal Transmission.

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Goh's BioComputing, Singapore, Singapore.


A novel coronavirus, MERS-CoV (NCoV, HCoV-EMC/2012), originating from the Middle-East, has been discovered. Incoming data reveal that the virus is highly virulent to humans. A model that categorizes coronaviuses according to the hardness of their shells was developed before the discovery of MERS-CoV. Using protein intrinsic disorder prediction, coronaviruses were categorized into three groups that can be linked to the levels of oral-fecal and respiratory transmission regardless of genetic proximity. Using this model, MERS-CoV is placed into disorder group C, which consists of coronaviruses that have relatively hard inner and outer shells. The members of this group are likely to persist in the environment for a longer period of time and possess the highest oral-fecal components but relatively low respiratory transmission components. Oral-urine and saliva transmission are also highly possible since both require harder protective shells. Results show that disorder prediction can be used as a tool that suggests clues to look for in further epidemiological investigations.

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