Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus: transmission and phylogenetic evolution

Trends Microbiol. 2014 Oct;22(10):573-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2014.08.001. Epub 2014 Aug 29.


The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first described in 2012 and, subsequently, many cases were reported with a lower case fatality rate than initial cases. Humans can become infected within their communities and transmission can then be amplified in the healthcare setting. Contact investigation among cases shows a variable amount of spread among family members and healthcare workers. So far, circulating virus strains remain similar under continuous monitoring, with no genetic changes. Here, we discuss the transmission pattern, phylogenetic evolution, and pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection.

Keywords: MERS-CoV; Middle East; coronavirus; pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / genetics*
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / physiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Zoonoses