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J Virol. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (****-CoV); Announcement of the Coronavirus Study Group

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  • J Virol. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (****-CoV); Announcement of the Coronavirus Study Group

    [Source: Journal of Virology, full PDF document: (LINK). Edited.]

    Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (****-CoV); Announcement of the Coronavirus Study Group

    Raoul J. de Groot *,1, Susan C. Baker *,2, Ralph S. Baric *,3, Caroline S. Brown 4, Christian Drosten *,5, Luis Enjuanes *,6, Ron A.M. Fouchier 7, Monica Galiano 8, Alexander E. Gorbalenya *,9, Ziad Memish 10, Stanley Perlman *,11, Leo L.M. Poon *,12, Eric J. Snijder 9, Gwen M. Stephens 10, Patrick C.Y. Woo *,13, Ali M. Zaki 14, Maria Zambon 8, John Ziebuhr *,15

    *Coronavirus Study Group, International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses; 1Division of Virology, Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; 2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, Illinois, USA; 3 Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; 4 World Health Organization, WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark; 5 Institute of Virology, University of Bonn Medical Center, Bonn, Germany; 6 Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, National Center of Biotechnology, Campus de la Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain; 7 Viroscience Lab, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; 8 Public Health England (formerly Health Protection Agency), London, UK; 9 Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands; 10 Department 18 of Internal Medicine, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 11 Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA; 12 Centre of Influenza Research & School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China; 13 Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China; 14 Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; 15 Institute of Medical Virology, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Giessen, Germany


    During the summer of 2012, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia a hitherto unknown coronavirus was isolated from the sputum of a patient with acute pneumonia and renal failure (1, 2). The isolate was provisionally called human coronavirus EMC (3). Shortly thereafter, September 2012, the same type of virus, named human coronavirus England 1, was recovered from a patient with severe respiratory illness, who had been transferred from the Gulf region of the Middle East to London, United Kingdom (4, 5). The onset of the new disease was traced back to an even earlier time point. Already in April 2012, a cluster of pneumonia cases in health care workers occurred in an intensive care unit of a hospital in Zarqa, Jordan (6). Two persons died, both of which were confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus through retrospective analysis of stored samples (7). These findings met with considerable concern. Although the number of cases documented is limited (thirty as of 6 May 2013), the morbidity and mortality of the infection is alarming, as is its uncanny resemblance -at least in its clinical features- to SARS. While a small minority of the known cases developed mild disease, most patients presented with a severe acute respiratory condition requiring hospitalization; the mortality rate is approximately 60% (8).


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