Background: Information on the duration of replicative Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) shedding is important for infection control. The detection of MERS-CoV sub-genomic mRNAs indicates that the virus is replicative. This study examined the duration for detecting MERS-CoV sub-genomic mRNA compared with genomic RNA in diverse respiratory specimens. Methods: Upper and lower respiratory samples were obtained from 17 MERS-CoV-infected patients. MERS-CoV sub-genomic mRNA was detected by reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and MERS-CoV genomic RNA by real-time RT-PCR. Results: In sputum and transtracheal aspirate, sub-genomic mRNA was detected for up to 4 weeks after symptoms developed, which correlated with the detection of genomic RNA. In oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swab specimens, the detection of sub-genomic mRNA and genomic RNA did not correlate. Conclusions: These findings suggest that MERS-CoV does not replicate well in the upper respiratory tract.
Park, W. B., Poon, L. L. M., Choi, S. J., Choe, P. G., Song, K. H., Bang, J. H., … Oh, M. don. (2018). Replicative virus shedding in the respiratory tract of patients with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 72, 8–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2018.05.003