Update on therapeutic options for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

Jaffar A Al-Tawfiq, Ziad A Memish
Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy 2017, 15 (3): 269-275
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an important emerging respiratory pathogen. MERS-CoV resulted in multiple hospital outbreaks within and outside the Arabian Peninsula. The disease has a high case fatality rate, with the need for a therapeutic option. Areas covered: In this review, we provide an overview of the progress in the development of therapeutic strategies for MERS. We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, Scopus, and Google Scholar, using the following terms: 'MERS', 'MERS-CoV', 'Middle East respiratory syndrome' in combination with 'treatment' or 'therapy'. Expert commentary: There are multiple agents tried in vitro and in vivo. None of these agents were used in large clinical studies. Available clinical studies are limited to the use of the combination of interferon and other agents. These clinical studies are based solely on case reports and case series. There are no prospective or randomized trials. There is a need to have prospective and randomized clinical trials for the therapy of MERS-CoV. However, this strategy might be hampered by the sporadic cases outside the large hospital outbreaks.

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