Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus: a comprehensive review

Front Med. 2016 Jun;10(2):120-36. doi: 10.1007/s11684-016-0430-6. Epub 2016 Jan 20.


The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus was first identified in 2012 and has since then remained uncontrolled. Cases have been mostly reported in the Middle East, however travel-associated cases and outbreaks have also occurred. Nosocomial and zoonotic transmission of the virus appear to be the most important routes. The infection is severe and highly fatal thus necessitating rapid and efficacious interventions. Here, we performed a comprehensive review of published literature and summarized the epidemiology of the virus. In addition, we summarized the virological aspects of the infection and reviewed the animal models used as well as vaccination and antiviral tested against it.

Keywords: MERS; coronavirus; review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Camelus
  • Chiroptera
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Cross Infection / virology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Ferrets
  • Humans
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Mesocricetus
  • Mice
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / classification
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / physiology*
  • Rabbits
  • Seasons
  • Travel*
  • Vaccination / methods*
  • Vaccines / therapeutic use


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Vaccines