[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Antivir Ther. 2014 May 15. doi: 10.3851/IMP2792. [Epub ahead of print]

Ribavirin and interferon (IFN)-alpha-2b as primary and preventive treatment for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV): a preliminary report of two cases.

Khalid M<SUP>1</SUP>, Al Rabiah F, Khan B, Al Mobeireek A, Butt TS, Al Mutairy E.

Author information: <SUP>1</SUP>Section of Pulmonary Medicine, King Faisal Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. mariamskh2@yahoo.com.


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a newly recognized transmissible viral infection with high virulence and case fatality rates for which there is no currently defined primary treatment or prophylaxis. Saudi Arabia has the largest reported number of cases so far. Like SARS, MERS-CoV is a coronavirus. Combination therapy with Interferon α-2b and Ribavarin has been used successfully as primary treatment and prophylaxis in SARS. Because of similarities between the two coronaviruses, treatment with Ribavarin and Interferon α-2b has been suggested as a potential therapy for MERS-CoV. Studies in animal models of MERS-CoV have shown the combination of Ribavirin and Interferon α-2b to be effective both as primary treatment and prophylaxis. In this report, we describe for the first time use of this combination as a primary treatment for a patient with MERS-CoV infection and as prophylaxis for his spouse and discuss its possible role.

PMID: 24831606 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]