MERS-CoV: epidemiology, molecular dynamics, therapeutics, and future challenges.Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2021 Jan 18; 20(1):8.AC
The Severe Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has gained research attention worldwide, given the current pandemic. Nevertheless, a previous zoonotic and highly pathogenic coronavirus, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), is still causing concern, especially in Saudi Arabia and neighbour countries. The MERS-CoV has been reported from respiratory samples in more than 27 countries, and around 2500 cases have been reported with an approximate fatality rate of 35%. After its emergence in 2012 intermittent, sporadic cases, nosocomial infections and many community clusters of MERS continued to occur in many countries. Human-to-human transmission resulted in the large outbreaks in Saudi Arabia. The inherent genetic variability among various clads of the MERS-CoV might have probably paved the events of cross-species transmission along with changes in the inter-species and intra-species tropism. The current review is drafted using an extensive review of literature on various databases, selecting of publications irrespective of favouring or opposing, assessing the merit of study, the abstraction of data and analysing data. The genome of MERS-CoV contains around thirty thousand nucleotides having seven predicted open reading frames. Spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleocapsid (N) proteins are the four main structural proteins. The surface located spike protein (S) of betacoronaviruses has been established to be one of the significant factors in their zoonotic transmission through virus-receptor recognition mediation and subsequent initiation of viral infection. Three regions in Saudi Arabia (KSA), Eastern Province, Riyadh and Makkah were affected severely. The epidemic progression had been the highest in 2014 in Makkah and Riyadh and Eastern Province in 2013. With a lurking epidemic scare, there is a crucial need for effective therapeutic and immunological remedies constructed on sound molecular investigations.