Serological, molecular and phylogenetic analyses of a recently imported case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Greece are reported. Although MERS-CoV remained detectable in the respiratory tract secretions of the patient until the fourth week of illness, viraemia was last detected 2 days after initiation of triple combination therapy with pegylated interferon, ribavirin and lopinavir/ritonavir, administered from Day 13 of illness. Phylogenetic analysis of the virus showed close similarity with other human MERS-CoVs from the recent Jeddah outbreak in Saudi Arabia. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) titres peaked 3 weeks after the onset of illness, whilst IgM levels remained constantly elevated during the follow-up period (second to fifth week of illness). Serological testing confirmed by virus neutralisation assay detected an additional case that was a close contact of the patient.
Keywords: Antiviral treatment; Coronavirus; MERS; MERS-CoV; Phylogeny; Serology.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.