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Xiamen University develops MERS diagnostic reagent: report

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-06-19

A research team from Xiamen University, in collaboration of the Hong Kong University, has successfully developed a diagnostic reagent for the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Southeast Express reported on Friday.

The reagent has high sensitivity and specificity to MERS and is expected to play an important role in MERS control.

The team claims that it has prepared for large-scale production of the reagent.

The team was led by Professor Xia Ningshao at the the National Laboratory of Molecular Vaccinology and Molecular Diagnostics as well as the National Research Center for Infectious Disease Reagents and Vaccine Technology.

MERS is a viral respiratory illness that is new to humans. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and has since spread to several other countries. Most people infected with MERS-CoV develop severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The MERS epidemic is stirring up panic in South Korea, where 162 people have been diagnosed and 20 have died as of June 17.