Human coronavirus EMC is not the same as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.mBio. 2013 Jan 15; 4(1)MBIO
A newly identified betacoronavirus, human coronavirus EMC (HCoV-EMC), has been isolated from several patients with respiratory and renal disease in the Middle East. While only a few infected patients have been identified, the mortality of the infection is greater than 50%. Like its better-known cousin severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), HCoV-EMC appears to have originated from bats. In a recent article in mBio, Müller et al. described several important differences between the two viruses [M. A. Müller et al., mBio 3(6):e00515-12, 2012, doi:10.1128/mBio.00515-12]. Unlike SARS-CoV, HCoV-EMC can directly infect bat cells. As important, HCoV-EMC does not enter cells using the SARS-CoV receptor, human angiotensin-converting receptor-2 (hACE2). These results provide a strong incentive for identifying the host cell receptor used by HCoV-EMC. Identification of the receptor will provide insight into the pathogenesis of pulmonary and renal disease and may also suggest novel therapeutic interventions.