Intratracheal exposure of common marmosets to MERS-CoV Jordan-n3/2012 or MERS-CoV EMC/2012 isolates does not result in lethal disease

Virology. 2015 Nov;485:422-30. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2015.07.013. Epub 2015 Sep 3.


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) continues to be a threat to human health in the Middle East. Development of countermeasures is ongoing; however, an animal model that faithfully recapitulates human disease has yet to be defined. A recent study indicated that inoculation of common marmosets resulted in inconsistent lethality. Based on these data we sought to compare two isolates of MERS-CoV. We followed disease progression in common marmosets after intratracheal exposure with: MERS-CoV-EMC/2012, MERS-CoV-Jordan-n3/2012, media, or inactivated virus. Our data suggest that common marmosets developed a mild to moderate non-lethal respiratory disease, which was quantifiable by computed tomography (CT), with limited other clinical signs. Based on CT data, clinical data, and virological data, MERS-CoV inoculation of common marmosets results in mild to moderate clinical signs of disease that are likely due to manipulations of the marmoset rather than as a result of robust viral replication.

Keywords: Animal model; Coronavirus; MERS; MERS-CoV; Middle East Respiratory Syndrome; Nonhuman primate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Biopsy
  • Callithrix
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Coronavirus Infections / veterinary*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / virology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung / virology
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / physiology*
  • Monkey Diseases / diagnosis
  • Monkey Diseases / immunology
  • Monkey Diseases / mortality*
  • Monkey Diseases / virology*
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vero Cells


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • RNA, Viral