Fig1. MERS-CoV genome (a), viral particle (b), and Spike protein (c).
Fig2. Replication Cycle of MERS-CoV.
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), caused by the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has taken something of a back seat to Ebola among emerging diseases. MERS-CoV is one of six known human coronaviruses that cause respiratory disease in humans with a mortality rate >35%. It is the first highly pathogenic human coronavirus to emerge since the global scare caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2003.
MERS-CoV, a lineage C Betacoronavirus (βCoVs), has a positive-sense single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) genome about 30-kb in size. The MERS-CoV genomes share more than 99% sequence identity, indicating a low mutation rate and low variance among the genomes. MERS-CoV genomes are roughly divided into two clades: clade A, which contains only a few strains, and clade B, to which most strains belong. As with other CoV genomes, the first 5’ two-thirds of the MERS-CoV genome consist of the replicase complex (ORF1a and ORF1b). The remaining 3’ one-third encodes the structural proteins spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), nucleocapsid (N), and five accessory proteins (ORF3, ORF4a, ORF4b, ORF5 and ORF8b) that are not required for genome replication but are likely involved in pathogenesis. The flanking regions of the genome contain the 5’ and 3’ untranslated regions (UTR).
Fig.3 Schematic organization of human coronavirus genomes. (Chafekar, 2018)
With no specific, reliable antiviral drug or vaccine approved for clinical use in MERS-CoV infections, rapid diagnostic tests are required to manage outbreaks of MERS-CoV. Laboratory detection and confirmation of MERS-CoV infections mainly include molecular diagnostics and serological assays. Though serology is not widely performed for diagnosing acute MERS-CoV infection, it has been a useful tool to determine the extent of infection around clusters and in seroepidemiological studies in animals and humans. Seroconversion typically occurs during the second and third week after symptom onset; data suggest that low antibody titer in the second week or delayed seroconversion is more closely associated with mortality than high viral load. Serological methods for the detection of antibodies against MERS-CoV include ELISA, indirect immunofluorescence test (IIFT) and neutralization tests. MERS-CoV serological assays can employ commercial reagents or proprietary monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) as capture agents. Polyclonal antibodies (pAbs) can also be used for detection in various ELISA model.
Creative Biolabs now provides a variety of MERS antibodies targeting various viral proteins (such as MERS-CoV spike protein, nucleocapsid protein, membrane protein etc.) to meet our clients’ requirements. Please submit your specific MERS-CoV mAb or pAb inquiry to us, and we will reply soon. Creative Biolabs also provides a full comprehensive suite of secondary antibodies and isotype controls to meet your needs. For some targets, ready-to-use catalogue is not available. Please contact us for antibody discovery services and customized services. Learn more ViroAntibodies.