Researchers from China have isolated and characterized 2 human neutralizing antibodies that block entry of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) into target cells (Jiang L et al. Sci Transl Med. 2014;6:234ra59). First reported in humans in 2012, MERS-CoV causes severe and often fatal acute respiratory illness, with symptoms similar to those seen during the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. The estimated 40% mortality rate and the documentation of clusters of human-to-human transmission have raised concerns of a MERS-CoV pandemic.
Hampton T. Newly Isolated Antibodies May Block Deadly Respiratory Infection. JAMA. 2014;311(21):2162. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5548