Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus and Pulmonary Tuberculosis Coinfection: Implications for Infection Control

Intervirology. 2017;60(1-2):53-55. doi: 10.1159/000477908. Epub 2017 Jul 6.


Coinfection of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) with tuberculosis (TB) has not been previously reported. Here, we present 2 cases with both MERS-CoV and pulmonary TB. The first case was a 13-year-old patient who was admitted with a 2-month history of fever, weight loss, night sweats, and cough. The second patient was a 30-year-old female who had a 4-week history of cough associated with shortness of breath and weight loss of 2 kg. The 2 patients were diagnosed with pulmonary TB and had positive MERS-CoV. Both patients were discharged to complete their therapy for TB at home. It is likely that both patients had pulmonary TB initially as they had prolonged symptoms and they subsequently developed MERS-CoV infection. It is important to carefully evaluate suspected MERS-CoV patients for the presence of other infectious diseases, such as TB, especially if cohorting is done for suspected MERS-CoV to avoid nosocomial transmission.

Keywords: Coinfection; MERS-CoV; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus; Tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Coinfection*
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Cough / etiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Fever / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infection Control*
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Lung / virology
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus* / isolation & purification
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / microbiology
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / prevention & control