The first known cluster of MERS occurred in April 2012 in Jordan, while the second occurred a few months later in Saudi Arabia. Were these cases related?
The genomic structure of this deadly virus has been determined and the virus seems very similar to those reported for bats-derived Coronaviruses of the 2c subgroup: the Bat-CoV HKU4 and HKU5 stains. Research has also demonstrated that Corona viruses have the potential to undergo rapid genetic change as they adapt to new hosts.
|[Asellia tridens. Foto: Lars Bjurström]|
Thus the question remains how the virus managed to jump from bats to humans. The unknown vector seems elusive but the answer may be easy: mosquitoes.
|[Foto: Paul Zborowski]|
This could indicate that mosquitoes could first feed on the blood of an infected bat and when it subsequently feeds on the blood of a human, it will infect the human with Coronavirus.
 Lu et al: SARS-like virus in the Middle East: a truly bat-related coronavirus causing human diseases in Protein & Cell - 2012
 Rest et al: SARS associated coronavirus has a recombinant polymerase and coronaviruses have a history of host-shifting in Journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases - 2003
 Smith et al: Bats and their virome: an important source of emerging viruses capable of infecting humans in Current Opinion in Virology - 2013
 Paessler et al: Pathogenesis of the viral hemorrhagic fevers in Annual Review of Pathology – 2013