Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Origin of MERS coronavirus identified

Date:
October 9, 2013
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
The newly emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has circulated in bats for a substantial time, before making the species leap to humans, according to research. By analyzing the genome of various bat species, scientists show that bat DPP4 genes have adapted significantly as they evolved, suggesting a long-term arms race between the bat and the virus.

The newly emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has circulated in bats for a substantial time, before making the species leap to humans, according to research published in BioMed Central's open access publication Virology Journal. By analysing the genome of various bat species, scientists show that bat DPP4 genes have adapted significantly as they evolved, suggesting a long-term arms race between the bat and the virus.

Related Articles


Previous work has shown that MERS-CoV uses the DPP4 receptor to enter the cell and it is well known that viruses can leave evolutionary footprints in receptor-encoding genes of hosts and their binding domains during long battles with the hosts. Jie Cui, colleagues from the University of Sydney and collaborators from the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and CSIRO analysed the sequence of DPP4 from seven bat genomes. They then compared the findings to those of a range of non-bat mammalian species. They go on to identify three residues in bat DPP4 under positive selection that directly interact with the viral surface glycoprotein.

Their findings show more pressure on the bat genes than in other species, with mutations occurring at a faster rate, suggesting that the newly emerged MERS-CoV not only has a bat origin, but also evolved over an extended time period in bat populations before making the leap to infect humans. Further research will be needed to understand the transmission route by collecting more bat MERS-CoVs.

Jie Cui, lead author on the paper, says: "Our analysis suggests that an evolutionary lineage leading to the current MERS-CoV co-evolved with bat hosts for an extended time period, eventually jumping species boundaries to infect humans, perhaps through an intermediate host."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jie Cui, John-Sebastian Eden, Edward C Holmes and Lin-Fa Wang. Adaptive evolution of bat dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (dpp4): implications for the origin and emergence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Virology Journal, October 2013

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Origin of MERS coronavirus identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009215637.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2013, October 9). Origin of MERS coronavirus identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009215637.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Origin of MERS coronavirus identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131009215637.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins