Serological, molecular and phylogenetic analyses of a recently imported case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Greece are reported. Although MERS-CoV remained detectable in the respiratory tract secretions of the patient until the fourth week of illness, viraemia was last detected 2 days after initiation of triple combination therapy with pegylated interferon, ribavirin and lopinavir/ritonavir, administered from Day 13 of illness. Phylogenetic analysis of the virus showed close similarity with other human MERS-CoVs from the recent Jeddah outbreak in Saudi Arabia. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) titres peaked 3 weeks after the onset of illness, whilst IgM levels remained constantly elevated during the follow-up period (second to fifth week of illness). Serological testing confirmed by virus neutralisation assay detected an additional case that was a close contact of the patient.

Antiviral treatment, Coronavirus, MERS, MERS-CoV, Phylogeny, Serology,
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Department of Virology

Spanakis, N, Tsiodras, S, Haagmans, B.L, Raj, V.S, Pontikis, K, Koutsoukou, A, … Tsakris, A. (2014). Virological and serological analysis of a recent Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection case on a triple combination antiviral regimen. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 44(6), 528–532. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2014.07.026