Genomic comparison of MERS-CoV & SARS-CoV
The Baric laboratory studies lethal human coronaviruses, specifically Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). These viruses are positive-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses that cause severe to lethal atypical pneumonias in humans. Overall mortality in the SARS-CoV epidemic was 9%; however, this rate increased to ~50% in males over the age of 50. The overall mortality of the MERS-CoV epidemic is ~40% of currently reported cases, although underreporting of the total number of cases is suspected.
Description of the Viruses (from each RP)
Dr. Baric is a professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has studied the biology, pathogenesis, and replication of viruses for about 30 years, specializing in coronaviruses, noroviruses, and most recently dengue viruses. Dr. Baric has developed novel reverse genetic systems for coronaviruses, including the highly pathogenic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The Baric laboratory provides the wild-type MERS-CoV and engineered mutant strains with attenuated pathogenicity need for our studies and performs all of the MERS-CoV infections in cell and hopefully mouse models.