A Multiplexed Testing Solution for MERS
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel Coronavirus (Middle East respiratory syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS‐CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. There are 12 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (Middle East) that have reported cases since it was first discovered in Saudi Arabia. Approximately 35% of reported patients with MERS-CoV infection have died.
GeneSTAT Molecular Diagnostics’ (GMD) license of the T-GEN developed GEN 2 assay allows for an expanded multiplexed test that includes a 3rd assay that targets the MERS virus N gene. Based on current testing, it is anticipated to have nearly identical performance to the current COVID-19 assays.
This MERS-CoV rRT-PCR test is a novel (patent pending) assay that in about 60 minutes identifies and differentiates endemic MERS from SARS-CoV-2 and other Coronaviruses. There is currently no rapid molecular test for screening or diagnostics capable of this differentiation, either alone or as co-infections. The test will be available in two testing options:
- High throughput testing with GMD’s INSPECT COVID-19, 96-well test format for high volume screening
- Low throughput, point of need testing with the GeneSTAT.MDx COVID-19 self contained cartridge test
MERS is part of the same family of Coronaviruses as COVID-19. This family of viruses can cause diseases ranging from the current COVID-19 pandemic to endemic MERS, to the common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Like COVID-19, some laboratory-confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection are reported as asymptomatic, meaning that they do not have any clinical symptoms, yet they are positive for MERS-CoV infection following a laboratory test.
Although most human cases of MERS-CoV infections have been attributed to human-to-human infections, current scientific evidence suggests that dromedary camels are a major reservoir host for MERS-CoV and an animal source of MERS infection in humans.