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Molecular Evolution of MERS Coronavirus: Dromedaries as a Recent Intermediate Host or Long-Time Animal Reservoir?
Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Oct 16; 18(10)IJ

Abstract

While dromedary camels are the immediate animal source of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, the evolutionary origin of MERS-CoV remains obscure. We analyzed 219 camel and human MERS-CoV genome sequences available in GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis showed that 5 and 214 strains belong to clade A and B, respectively, with clade A further divided into lineage A1 (3 human strains) and lineage A2 (2 camel strains), and clade B divided into B1 to B6 (each containing both human and camel strains). Recombination analysis showed potential recombination events in five strains from dromedaries in Saudi Arabia, with recombination between lineage B5 and B3 in four strains, and between lineage B3 and B4 in one strain. The spike protein showed the highest number of amino acid substitutions, especially between A2 and other lineages, and contained positively selected codons. Notably, codon 1020 was positively selected among B and B5 strains, and can distinguish between clade A (Q1020) and B (R1020/H1020) strains, suggesting that this residue may play a role in the evolution of S protein during divergence of different lineages. The time of the most recent common ancestor of all MERS-CoV was dated to approximately 2010. The implications on the role of camels in the evolution of MERS-CoV are discussed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. skplau@hku.hk. Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. skplau@hku.hk. Research Centre of Infection and Immunology, the University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. skplau@hku.hk. Carol Yu Centre for Infection, the University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. skplau@hku.hk. Collaborative Innovation Centre for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, the University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. skplau@hku.hk.Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. antonwcp@hku.hk.Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Science and Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong. chiklau@cityu.edu.hk.State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. pcywoo@hku.hk. Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. pcywoo@hku.hk. Research Centre of Infection and Immunology, the University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. pcywoo@hku.hk. Carol Yu Centre for Infection, the University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. pcywoo@hku.hk. Collaborative Innovation Centre for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, the University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. pcywoo@hku.hk.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29035289

Citation

Lau, Susanna K P., et al. "Molecular Evolution of MERS Coronavirus: Dromedaries as a Recent Intermediate Host or Long-Time Animal Reservoir?" International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 18, no. 10, 2017.
Lau SKP, Wong ACP, Lau TCK, et al. Molecular Evolution of MERS Coronavirus: Dromedaries as a Recent Intermediate Host or Long-Time Animal Reservoir? Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(10).
Lau, S. K. P., Wong, A. C. P., Lau, T. C. K., & Woo, P. C. Y. (2017). Molecular Evolution of MERS Coronavirus: Dromedaries as a Recent Intermediate Host or Long-Time Animal Reservoir? International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102138
Lau SKP, et al. Molecular Evolution of MERS Coronavirus: Dromedaries as a Recent Intermediate Host or Long-Time Animal Reservoir. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Oct 16;18(10) PubMed PMID: 29035289.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Molecular Evolution of MERS Coronavirus: Dromedaries as a Recent Intermediate Host or Long-Time Animal Reservoir? AU - Lau,Susanna K P, AU - Wong,Antonio C P, AU - Lau,Terrence C K, AU - Woo,Patrick C Y, Y1 - 2017/10/16/ PY - 2017/08/15/received PY - 2017/09/21/revised PY - 2017/10/11/accepted PY - 2017/10/17/entrez PY - 2017/10/17/pubmed PY - 2018/5/25/medline KW - MERS coronavirus KW - dromedaries KW - evolution KW - host KW - molecular KW - origin KW - recent KW - reservoir JF - International journal of molecular sciences JO - Int J Mol Sci VL - 18 IS - 10 N2 - While dromedary camels are the immediate animal source of MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, the evolutionary origin of MERS-CoV remains obscure. We analyzed 219 camel and human MERS-CoV genome sequences available in GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis showed that 5 and 214 strains belong to clade A and B, respectively, with clade A further divided into lineage A1 (3 human strains) and lineage A2 (2 camel strains), and clade B divided into B1 to B6 (each containing both human and camel strains). Recombination analysis showed potential recombination events in five strains from dromedaries in Saudi Arabia, with recombination between lineage B5 and B3 in four strains, and between lineage B3 and B4 in one strain. The spike protein showed the highest number of amino acid substitutions, especially between A2 and other lineages, and contained positively selected codons. Notably, codon 1020 was positively selected among B and B5 strains, and can distinguish between clade A (Q1020) and B (R1020/H1020) strains, suggesting that this residue may play a role in the evolution of S protein during divergence of different lineages. The time of the most recent common ancestor of all MERS-CoV was dated to approximately 2010. The implications on the role of camels in the evolution of MERS-CoV are discussed. SN - 1422-0067 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29035289/Molecular_Evolution_of_MERS_Coronavirus:_Dromedaries_as_a_Recent_Intermediate_Host_or_Long_Time_Animal_Reservoir L2 - https://www.mdpi.com/resolver?pii=ijms18102138 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -