During the past month, an outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in South Korea resulted in 175 confirmed cases of MERS, including 27 related deaths. One of the MERS patients in South Korea traveled to China, raising a concern that this MERS outbreak may spread to other countries in Asia. On June 2, 2015, Jiang and colleagues from Fudan University in China, who have studied the peptide- and antibody-based therapeutics for MERS since 2012 when the first MERS case was reported inSaudi Arabia, submitted a Letter to the Editor to Emerging Microbes& Infections (EMI) calling for “Urgent development of effective therapeutic and prophylactic agents to control the emerging threat of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)”. After reading the manuscript, the editor-in-chief immediately sent it out for review and asked the reviewers to return their comments as soon as possible. On June 4, 2015, the authors revised their manuscript according to the reviewers’ critiques and suggestions and submitted the revised manuscript immediately. On June 9, 2015, this article was accepted for publication in EMI.
Publication of this article has drawn great attention of the experts and media in China and other countries. On June 15, 2015, Prof. Nanshang Zhong, the world-renown expert of respiratory diseases, told China Business Daily (华商报) that the anti-MERS-CoV monoclonal antibody, m336, developed jointly by Fudan University and NIH of the USA should go to clinical trial as soon as possible.
On June 16, 2015, Reuters (路透社) reported that “China, US develop new MERS treatment” (http://bdnews24.com/health/2015/06/16/china-us-develop-new-mers-treatment).
China Network Television (CNTV), an internet-based broadcaster of China Central Television (CCTV), reported the news in its News 1+1 Channel in the evening of June 16, 2015 (http://news.cntv.cn/2015/06/16/VIDE1434465176388517.shtml), and in its Morning News Channel in the morning of June 17, 2015 (http://news.cntv.cn/2015/06/17/VIDE1434494342472799.shtml). The Phoenix Chinese Channel of Phoenix Satellite Television also reported the news in the afternoon of June 17, 2015 (http://v.ifeng.com/news/tech/201506/01c0b9c9-98bd-4824-b67d-bd57b4fab7a8.shtml). It is expected that more than a half billion people may have watched these new reports.
EMI was launched in July of 2012 and received its first impact factor of 2.258 in mid-June, 2015.