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Paradigm Shift Intervention Monitoring
Evolving Novel MERS Jeddah Sub-Clade Confirmed
The recently described novel Jeddah MERS sub-clade has raised concerns. It was found in 6/6 sequences from Jeddah and Mecca (from 4 hospitals) and matched 25 spike sequences from 25 more cases in Jeddah. Moreover, recent exports (7 to 6 countries) have also been from Jeddah, including the case in Orlando, Florida.
The CDC recently released the Spike and N gene sequences, Greece-Saudi Arabia_2014, from the case in Greece, which confirmed the presence of an evolving sub-clade, which had the expected markers as well as additional changes in the S gene (R511P) and the ORF8b gene (T31I) signaling rapid evolution.
The CDC has released the full sequences from the case (44M) in Orlando, Florida, Florida/USA-2_Saudi Arabia_2014, and are to be commended for the rapid release of these important sequences.
Like the sequences from Greece, Orlando is also an evolving Jeddah sub-clade. It also had the expected markers in the Spike and ORF8b genes, as well as a novel change in the Spike gene, S684F.
The confirmation of the same Jeddah sub-clade in Greece and Orlando, Florida as found in Jeddah and Mecca raises serious pandemic concerns.