Evaluation of serologic and antigenic relationships between middle eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus and other coronaviruses to develop vaccine platforms for the rapid response to emerging coronaviruses

Sudhakar Agnihothram, Robin Gopal, Boyd L Yount, Eric F Donaldson, Vineet D Menachery, Rachel L Graham, Trevor D Scobey, Lisa E Gralinski, Mark R Denison, Maria Zambon, Ralph S Baric
Journal of Infectious Diseases 2014 April 1, 209 (7): 995-1006

BACKGROUND: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) emerged in 2012, causing severe acute respiratory disease and pneumonia, with 44% mortality among 136 cases to date. Design of vaccines to limit the virus spread or diagnostic tests to track newly emerging strains requires knowledge of antigenic and serologic relationships between MERS-CoV and other CoVs.

METHODS:  Using synthetic genomics and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus replicons (VRPs) expressing spike and nucleocapsid proteins from MERS-CoV and other human and bat CoVs, we characterize the antigenic responses (using Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and serologic responses (using neutralization assays) against 2 MERS-CoV isolates in comparison with those of other human and bat CoVs.

RESULTS:  Serologic and neutralization responses against the spike glycoprotein were primarily strain specific, with a very low level of cross-reactivity within or across subgroups. CoV N proteins within but not across subgroups share cross-reactive epitopes with MERS-CoV isolates. Our findings were validated using a convalescent-phase serum specimen from a patient infected with MERS-CoV (NA 01) and human antiserum against SARS-CoV, human CoV NL63, and human CoV OC43.

CONCLUSIONS:  Vaccine design for emerging CoVs should involve chimeric spike protein containing neutralizing epitopes from multiple virus strains across subgroups to reduce immune pathology, and a diagnostic platform should include a panel of nucleocapsid and spike proteins from phylogenetically distinct CoVs.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"