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CDC Generates MERS Sequences from Suspect Serum
TITLE A family cluster of MERS-CoV infection in Tunisia imported from the Middle East
REFERENCE 2 (bases 1 to 4062)
AUTHORS Lu,X., Slim,A. and Erdman,D.D.
TITLE Direct Submission
JOURNAL Submitted (05-NOV-2013) Division of Viral Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
/organism="Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus"
The above comments from the characterization sheet for the full MERS spike sequence, Tunisia-Qatar_2013, from an earlier export of MERS from Qatar/Saudi Arabia to Tunisia with onward transmission. The index case died ( 2 days after collection date) and was not PCR confirmed. His two children were confirmed and he was classified as a probable case.
The determination of the full sequence of the spike and N gene (which includes ORF8b) using a serum source offers a significant advance. Recent attention has been focused on serum testing because of detected onward MERS transmission in Illinois after casual contact with a confirmed export from Riyadh to Munster, Indiana, Indiana/USA-1_Saudi Arabia_2014.
The ability to get a large sequence from serum samples can address the widespread false negatives on clinical samples due to transient presence of MERS-CoV , especially in upper respiratory samples, including samples from recent pilgrims who died in Indonesia and Egypt after performing Umrah, but were not PCR confirmed.