Viral RNA in Blood as Indicator of Severe Outcome in Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection

Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 Oct;22(10):1813-6. doi: 10.3201/eid2210.160218. Epub 2016 Oct 15.


We evaluated the diagnostic and clinical usefulness of blood specimens to detect Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in 21 patients from the 2015 outbreak in South Korea. Viral RNA was detected in blood from 33% of patients at initial diagnosis, and the detection preceded a worse clinical course.

Keywords: MERS-CoV; Middle East respiratory syndrome; blood; coronavirus; prognosis; real-time PCR; viruses; zoonoses.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Coronavirus Infections / blood*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus* / genetics
  • Patient Outcome Assessment
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Viral / blood*
  • Republic of Korea / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • RNA, Viral