A database of geopositioned Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus occurrences

Published December 13, 2019, in Scientific Data (opens in a new window)


As a World Health Organization Research and Development Blueprint priority pathogen, there is a need to better understand the geographic distribution of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and its potential to infect mammals and humans. This database documents cases of MERS-CoV globally, with specific attention paid to zoonotic transmission. An initial literature search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus; after screening articles according to the inclusion/exclusion criteria, a total of 208 sources were selected for extraction and geo-positioning. Each MERS-CoV occurrence was assigned one of the following classifications based upon published contextual information: index, unspecified, secondary, mammal, environmental, or imported. In total, this database is comprised of 861 unique geo-positioned MERS-CoV occurrences. The purpose of this article is to share a collated MERS-CoV database and extraction protocol that can be utilized in future mapping efforts for both MERS-CoV and other infectious diseases. More broadly, it may also provide useful data for the development of targeted MERS-CoV surveillance, which would prove invaluable in preventing future zoonotic spillover.

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Ramshaw RE, Letourneau ID, Hong AY, Hon J, Morgan JD, Osborne JCP, Shirude S, Van Kerkhove MD, Hay SI, Pigott DM. A database of geopositioned Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus occurrences. Scientific Data, 13 December 2019; 6(318). doi:10.1038/s41597-019-0330-0.