Lessons learned from sars-cov and mers-cov: Preparation for sars-cov-2 induced covid-19

So Hee Hong, Hyo Jung Park, Jae Hwan Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coronaviruses (CoVs) are the largest positive-sense RNA viruses with a wide range of natural hosts. To date, seven types of coronaviruses (HCoV-NL63; Human coronavirus NL63, HCoV-229E; Human coronavirus 229E, HCoV-OC43; Human coronavirus OC43, HCoV-HKU1; Human coronavirus HKU1, SARS-CoV; Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, MERS-Co; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and SARS-CoV-2; Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus) are known to cause disease in humans, and three of the CoVs (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2) cause severe, occasionally fatal, respiratory infections in humans. In November 2002, the case of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a new respiratory illness caused by SARS-CoV, was first reported in Guangdong Province, China. For the next several months, the SARS outbreak resulted in more than 8,000 cases of infection and 800 deaths. In June 2012, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was first identified in Saudi Arabia with 2,373 reported viral infections and 823 associated deaths until February 2019. The outbreak of the MERS-CoV pandemic also occurred in South Korea in May 2015. In late December 2019, another novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, genetically linked to SARS-CoV, emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China that has spread worldwide. Outbreaks of coronavirus-infections are occurring frequently in the 21st century; therefore, it seems very likely that another pandemic of coronavirus can emerge anytime in the future. In this review, we outlined the biological characteristics of coronaviruses and summarized the status of vaccine development against SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV in preparation for the unpredictable emergence of coronavirus pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-96
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Bacteriology and Virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Coronavirus
  • MERS-CoV
  • SARS-CoV
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccine


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