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New monkey model of severe MERS-CoV disease established

Date:
August 21, 2014
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in marmosets closely mimics the severe pneumonia experienced by people infected with MERS-CoV, researchers report, giving scientists the best animal model yet for testing potential treatments.

MERS-CoV particles (yellow) attach to camel tissue cells.
Credit: NIAID

National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have found that Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in marmosets closely mimics the severe pneumonia experienced by people infected with MERS-CoV, giving scientists the best animal model yet for testing potential treatments. Researchers at NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) used marmosets after predicting in computer models that the animals could be infected with MERS-CoV based on the binding properties of the virus.

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The same NIAID group in December 2012 developed the first animal model of MERS-CoV infection using rhesus macaques. That model has proven difficult to use for evaluating potential treatments because it mimics mild to moderate human disease, and the animals quickly recover from infection. Several research groups are working to develop mouse models of MERS-CoV infection, but they have yet to establish a severe disease model.

The MERS outbreak, which began in 2012, continues throughout the Middle East. Since the outbreak began, NIAID researchers have focused on understanding how the virus causes disease and how it can be treated effectively. As of July 23rd, the World Health Organization has reported a total of 837 human cases of MERS-CoV infection, including at least 291 deaths.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Darryl Falzarano, Emmie de Wit, Friederike Feldmann, Angela L. Rasmussen, Atsushi Okumura, Xinxia Peng, Matthew J. Thomas, Neeltje van Doremalen, Elaine Haddock, Lee Nagy, Rachel LaCasse, Tingting Liu, Jiang Zhu, Jason S. McLellan, Dana P. Scott, Michael G. Katze, Heinz Feldmann, Vincent J. Munster. Infection with MERS-CoV Causes Lethal Pneumonia in the Common Marmoset. PLoS Pathogens, 2014; 10 (8): e1004250 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004250

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "New monkey model of severe MERS-CoV disease established." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821141447.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2014, August 21). New monkey model of severe MERS-CoV disease established. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821141447.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "New monkey model of severe MERS-CoV disease established." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821141447.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

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