The MERS coronavirus (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) is a zoonotic virus that originated in dromedaries. The viruses can transfer to humans, however, where they cause serious lung infections that often end in death. Berend-Jan Bosch and his colleagues have discovered that the virus uses sugar molecules to penetrate into the host cell. The publication about their findings was published in the scientific journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
Bosch and his colleagues from Virology (section of the Department of Infection & Immunity) conducted research into how the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) attaches to the cell. “Together with our colleagues from the ErasmusMC in Rotterdam, we had already proven that the MERS coronavirus uses one of the host cell’s proteins (DPP2) to bond with the cell”, says research leader Bosch.