No molecular evidence of MERS-CoV circulation in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia between 2010–2012: a single-center retrospective study
Introduction: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an emerging zoonotic viral pathogen and a serious public health concern. The virus was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and continues to be endemic in the region. Most of the initial MERS-CoV cases in 2012 and early 2013 were sporadic, and it remains unclear whether MERS-CoV was circulating before 2012 or not. Therefore, we tried here to find any molecular evidence of MERS-CoV circulation in humans before or during 2012 in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: We examined 349 archived respiratory samples collected between January 2010 and December 2012 from patients with acute respiratory illnesses from the city of Jeddah in Western Saudi Arabia. All samples were screened for MERS-CoV by real-time RT-PCR targeting the upstream E-gene (UpE) and the open reading frame 1 a (ORF1a).
Results: All tested samples which were originally found negative for influenza A H1N1 virus were also found to be negative for MERS-CoV.
Conclusions: These results suggest that circulation of MERS-CoV was uncommon among patients with acute respiratory symptoms in Western Saudi Arabia between 2010 and 2012.
Copyright (c) 2018 Reem J Alamoudi, Leena E Azhar, Dareen H Alamoudi, Dena H Alamoudi, Ahmed M Tolah, Esam I Azhar, Anwar M Hashem
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).