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Infect Dis Poverty . Epidemiology and evolution of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, 2012-2020

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  • Infect Dis Poverty . Epidemiology and evolution of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, 2012-2020


    Infect Dis Poverty


    . 2021 May 8;10(1):66.
    doi: 10.1186/s40249-021-00853-0.
    Epidemiology and evolution of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, 2012-2020


    An-Ran Zhang 1 2 3 , Wen-Qiang Shi 2 , Kun Liu 4 , Xin-Lou Li 5 , Ming-Jin Liu 3 , Wen-Hui Zhang 2 , Guo-Ping Zhao 6 , Jin-Jin Chen 2 , Xiao-Ai Zhang 2 , Dong Miao 2 , Wei Ma 7 , Wei Liu 8 , Yang Yang 9 , Li-Qun Fang 10



    Affiliations

    Abstract

    Background: The ongoing transmission of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the Middle East and its expansion to other regions are raising concerns of a potential pandemic. An in-depth analysis about both population and molecular epidemiology of this pathogen is needed.
    Methods: MERS cases reported globally as of June 2020 were collected mainly from World Health Organization official reports, supplemented by other reliable sources. Determinants for case fatality and spatial diffusion of MERS were assessed with Logistic regressions and Cox proportional hazard models, respectively. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses were performed to examine the evolution and migration history of MERS-CoV.
    Results: A total of 2562 confirmed MERS cases with 150 case clusters were reported with a case fatality rate of 32.7% (95% CI: 30.9?34.6%). Saudi Arabia accounted for 83.6% of the cases. Age of ? 65 years old, underlying conditions and ? 5 days delay in diagnosis were independent risk factors for death. However, a history of animal contact was associated with a higher risk (adjusted OR = 2.97, 95% CI: 1.10-7.98) among female cases < 65 years but with a lower risk (adjusted OR = 0.31, 95% CI: 0.18-0.51) among male cases ? 65 years old. Diffusion of the disease was fastest from its origin in Saudi Arabia to the east, and was primarily driven by the transportation network. The most recent sub-clade C5.1 (since 2013) was associated with non-synonymous mutations and a higher mortality rate. Phylogeographic analyses pointed to Riyadh of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates as the hubs for both local and international spread of MERS-CoV.
    Conclusions: MERS-CoV remains primarily locally transmitted in the Middle East, with opportunistic exportation to other continents and a potential of causing transmission clusters of human cases. Animal contact is associated with a higher risk of death, but the association differs by age and sex. Transportation network is the leading driver for the spatial diffusion of the disease. These findings how this pathogen spread are helpful for targeting public health surveillance and interventions to control endemics and to prevent a potential pandemic.

    Keywords: Case fatality rate; MERS-CoV; Middle East respiratory syndrome; Phylogeny; Phylogeographic dynamic; Spatial diffusion.

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