Frontiers of Medicine

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 377–382 | Cite as

From SARS to MERS: evidence and speculation

  • Hainv Gao
  • Hangping Yao
  • Shigui Yang
  • Lanjuan Li


The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel zoonotic pathogen. In 2012, the infectious outbreak caused by MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia has spread to more than 1600 patients in 26 countries, resulting in over 600 deaths.Without a travel history, few clinical and radiological features can reliably differentiate MERS from SARS. But in real world, comparing with SARS, MERS presents more vaguely defined epidemiology, more severe symptoms, and higher case fatality rate. In this review, we summarize the recent findings in the field of MERS-CoV, especially its molecular virology, interspecies mechanisms, clinical features, antiviral therapies, and the further investigation into this disease. As a newly emerging virus, many questions are not fully answered, including the exact mode of transmission chain, geographical distribution, and animal origins. Furthermore, a new protocol needs to be launched to rapidly evaluate the effects of unproven antiviral drugs and vaccine to fasten the clinical application of new drugs.


middle east respiratory syndrome animal origin cross-species transmission monoclonal antibody 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hainv Gao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hangping Yao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shigui Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lanjuan Li
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of MedicineZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious DiseasesHangzhouChina

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