Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus—pathophysiological axis and the current treatment strategies

Abdullah M. Alnuqaydan, Abdulmajeed G. Almutary, Arulmalar Sukamaran, Brian Tay Wei Yang, Xiao Ting Lee, Wei Xuan Lim, Yee Min Ng, Rania Ibrahim, Thiviya Darmarajan, Satheeshkumar Nanjappan, Jestin Chellian, Mayuren Candasamy, Thiagarajan Madheswaran, Ankur Sharma, Harish Dureja, Parteek Prasher, Nitin Verma, Deepak Kumar, Kishneth Palaniveloo, Dheeraj BishtGaurav Gupta, Jyotsana R. Madan, Sachin Kumar Singh, Niraj Kumar Jha, Kamal Dua, Dinesh Kumar Chellappan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a lethal respiratory disease with its first case reported back in 2012 (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia). It is a novel, single-stranded, positive-sense RNA beta coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that was isolated from a patient who died from a severe respiratory illness. Later, it was found that this patient was infected with MERS. MERS is endemic to countries in the Middle East regions, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. It has been reported that the MERS virus originated from bats and dromedary camels, the natural hosts of MERS-CoV. The transmission of the virus to humans has been thought to be either direct or indirect. Few camel-to-human transmissions were reported earlier. However, the mode of transmission of how the virus affects humans remains unanswered. Moreover, outbreaks in either family-based or hospital-based settings were observed with high mortality rates, especially in individuals who did not receive proper management or those with underlying comorbidities, such as diabetes and renal failure. Since then, there have been numerous reports hypothesising complications in fatal cases of MERS. Over the years, various diagnostic methods, treatment strategies and preventive measures have been strategised in containing the MERS infection. Evidence from multiple sources implicated that no treatment options and vaccines have been developed in specific, for the direct management of MERS-CoV infection. Nevertheless, there are supportive measures outlined in response to symptom-related management. Health authorities should stress more on infection and prevention control measures, to ensure that MERS remains as a low-level threat to public health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number173
Number of pages23
JournalAAPS PharmSciTech
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2021


  • endemic
  • lower respiratory tract (LRT) diseases
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
  • transmission
  • vaccine


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