The spike glycoprotein of the Middle East respiratory coronavirus (MERS-CoV) facilitates receptor binding and cell entry. During investigation of a multi-facility outbreak of MERS-CoV in Taif, Saudi Arabia, we identified a mixed population of wild-type and variant sequences with a large 530 nucleotide deletion in the spike gene from the serum of one patient. The out of frame deletion predicted loss of most of the S2 subunit of the spike protein leaving the S1 subunit with an intact receptor binding domain. This finding documents human infection with a novel genetic variant of MERS-CoV present as a quasispecies. J. Med. Virol. 89:542-545, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal: Journal of medical virology