MERS-CoV is a virus that commonly infects dromedary camels in the Arabian Peninsula and Africa. This virus spreads effectively in this species and merely causes mild upper respiratory tract infection. However, since late 2012s, it is known that MERS-CoV could also cause pneumonia in humans and has been causing multiple outbreaks. The clinical manifestation of MERS-CoV infection in humans ranges from asymptomatic to fatal. MERS-CoV attaches to a host protein called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) to infect host cell. This thesis describes our effort to understand the role of DPP4 and other host factors in MERS-CoV transmission and pathogenesis. We found that the localization of DPP4 and α2,3-sialic acids, an attachment factor for MERS-CoV, varies between species. We also found that DPP4 expression in the human lungs could be upregulated due to several insults. These results indicate that DPP4 and other host factors could explain the inter- and intraspecies variations in MERS-CoV transmission and pathogenesis. Further characterization of these host determinants could offer insight into this virus epidemiology and help us identify the most vulnerable individuals to protect against MERS-CoV infection, for example by using vaccination.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Dipeptidyl peptidase-4, MERS-CoV, coronavirus, transmission, pathogenesis, bats, dromedary camels
Promotor M.P.G. Koopmans D.V.M. (Marion) , B.L. Haagmans (Bart)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
ISBN 978-94-6380-349-6
Persistent URL
Note For copyright reasons there is a (partial) embargo for this dissertation
Widagdo, . (2019, June 18). DPP4 in MERS-CoV Transmission and Pathogenesis. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from