Special Issue "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Richard A. Bowen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA
Interests: Viral Diseases; Zoonotic Pathogens; MERS-CoV

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first identified as a novel human pathogen in 2012 following its isolation from a patient in Saudi Arabia that died from pneumonia and renal failure.  In the time since that original description, there have been more than 2400 laboratory-confirmed human cases of infection with MERS-CoV, with a case fatality rate of approximately 34 percent.  Although cases have been recognized in 27 countries, a large majority of cases have occurred and continue to occur in Saudi Arabia and adjacent countries.  It is clear that human-to-human transmission of MERS-CoV occurs and poses a threat for pandemic spread, but also that this is primarily a zoonotic disease, with dromedary camels as the important reservoir host.  Within Middle Eastern countries, virtually all dromedaries become infected early in life, and although the infection is mild or subclinical, the animals shed large quantities of virus from their upper respiratory tract, serving as a potent source for transmission to humans.  A great deal has been learned about MERS and MERS-CoV since 2012, but numerous questions remain.  For example, there is a lack of understanding of why MERS has not been recognized in East Africa, despite large populations of dromedaries that carry a MERS-CoV closely related to that from the Middle East – is this a function of viral genetics, host response or a combination of other factors? There is ongoing research to develop effective vaccines and therapeutics to mitigate human infection or perhaps even prevent infection in the reservoir host as a means of blocking zoonotic transmission; all of these efforts would benefit from an enhanced understanding of immune responses in humans and animals to MERS-CoV infection.

This Special Issue will cover a wide range of topics focusing on MERS-CoV infection and immunity, and aims to help fill the gaps in our current understanding of this pandemic threat.  All types of articles will be considered for publication, including short reports, primary research articles, and reviews.

Prof. Dr. Richard A. Bowen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • MERS
  • MERS-CoV
  • Coronavirus
  • Vaccine

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
A Recombinant Influenza A/H1N1 Carrying A Short Immunogenic Peptide of MERS-CoV as Bivalent Vaccine in BALB/c Mice
Pathogens 2019, 8(4), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens8040281 - 02 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2293
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) became a global human health threat since its first documentation in humans in 2012. An efficient vaccine for the prophylaxis of humans in hotspots of the infection (e.g., Saudi Arabia) is necessary but no commercial vaccines are [...] Read more.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) became a global human health threat since its first documentation in humans in 2012. An efficient vaccine for the prophylaxis of humans in hotspots of the infection (e.g., Saudi Arabia) is necessary but no commercial vaccines are yet approved. In this study, a chimeric DNA construct was designed to encode an influenza A/H1N1 NA protein which is flanking immunogenic amino acids (aa) 736–761 of MERS-CoV spike protein. Using the generated chimeric construct, a novel recombinant vaccine strain against pandemic influenza A virus (H1N1pdm09) and MERS-CoV was generated (chimeric bivalent 5 + 3). The chimeric bivalent 5 + 3 vaccine strain comprises a recombinant PR8-based vaccine, expressing the PB1, HA, and chimeric NA of pandemic 2009 H1N1. Interestingly, an increase in replication efficiency of the generated vaccine strain was observed when compared to the PR8-based 5 + 3 H1N1pdm09 vaccine strain that lacks the MERS-CoV spike peptide insert. In BALB/c mice, the inactivated chimeric bivalent vaccine induced potent and specific neutralizing antibodies against MERS-CoV and H1N1pdm09. This novel approach succeeded in developing a recombinant influenza virus with potential use as a bivalent vaccine against H1N1pdm09 and MERS-CoV. This approach provides a basis for the future development of chimeric influenza-based vaccines against MERS-CoV and other viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection)
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