Treatment methods for middle east respiratory syndrome

Romina Bahrami ,1,* Danial hashemi,2

1. shahid beheshti university
2. shahid beheshti university



Middle east respiratory syndrome is a kind of respiratory disease that is caused by a coronavirus, observed for the first time in saudi arabia in 2012. 26 countries have been reported so far by world health organization (who) to suffer from this virus, which has resulted in 40% mortality. mers is a virus with various clinical symptoms. it is spherical with a diameter of about 125 nanometers. the most important feature of this virus is that it has spike glycoproteins with lengths of 20 nanometers. the name of the virus has been taken from its solar appearance due to the presence of the spikes. four types have been identified so far for the virus, namely alpha, beta, gamma, and delta, and mers is of type beta. phylogenetically, the virus belongs to the same material as the sars virus, and they both contain ssrna. ssrna can perform molecular reconstruction again, which leads to anti-genetic shifts and mutation. this research has been conducted to review the achievement of the latest available methods of treatment in this regard.


In this study, 22 papers in english from 2016 and later available at the nature research journal, science direct, mbio, and plot databases have been used, where a large number of pharmaceutical agents have been examined, and several inhibitory effect agents in cell culture have been indicated. among the agents tested in the laboratory, interferon cyclosporine a, ribavirin, lopinavir, and immunoglobulin can be mentioned. no clinical information supports these agents at present. a combination of interferon a and b and ribavirin is effective on decrease in virus reproduction and in host response, and improves the clinical symptoms as a consequence.


It is not exactly clear how this virus is transferred from animals to man, but scientists have regarded camels as the major source for the virus having discovered antibodies against the mers coronavirus in them. studies demonstrate that man-to-man transfer of the virus requires close contact, and occurs most often at medical centers. the risk of catching the disease increases at hospitals. the probability of catching mers reaches its highest amounts in activities requiring direct contact with the patients. based on the studies published by world health organization, the disease is most often transferred through contact with infected respiratory droplets. therefore, improving health practices and taking strict measures in medical centers can be useful as a key strategy for prevention of the disease from spreading. treatment is provided mainly supportively, and has not been fully effective given the mortality rate. nevertheless, new vaccines are subjected to research and development, some of which find their ways into human experiments. for instance, a vaccine has been obtained based on the large surface protein s using recombinant nanoparticles, which is under investigation. another treatment that is being studied involves application of a convalescent’s antibody to the patient’s body. this treatment reduces the severity of the disease, but has rejected full protection against it.


Researchers are constantly trying to produce a medication effective on this disease, but no achievement has been made so far. there is a prospect in this regard of further research for achieving proper treatment and preventive strategies and conducting accurate virological studies.


Treatment,middle east respiratory syndrome,interferon a and b ,ribavirin