Research Press Release

Virology: Inhibiting MERS coronavirus spread in cultured cells

Nature Communications

January 29, 2014

Development of a molecule capable of inhibiting the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in cultured cells is reported this week in Nature Communications.

Shibo Jiang and colleagues designed a short peptide (protein fragment) capable of interacting with MERS-CoV protein responsible for virus entry into the cells. When used in cultured cells, this peptide could efficiently block the infection of cells with MERS-CoV.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus emerged over a year ago in the Middle East causing outbreaks of a SARS-like illness with a high case fatality rate. The reports of its person-to-person transmission through close contacts have raised a global concern about its pandemic potential. Therefore the development of drugs capable of inhibiting its spread is of great importance and this study may provide a step towards this goal. It is not yet clear, however, whether the molecule reported here will also be effective in blocking virus infection in animal models of the disease.


Return to research highlights

PrivacyMark System