Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a highly pathogenic virus with a crude mortality rate of ~35%. Previously, we established a human DPP4 transgenic (hDPP4-Tg) mouse model in which we studied complement overactivation-induced immunopathogenesis. Here, to better understand the pathogenesis of MERS-CoV, we studied the role of pyroptosis in THP-1 cells and hDPP4 Tg mice with MERS-CoV infection. We found that MERS-CoV infection induced pyroptosis and over-activation of complement in human macrophages. The hDPP4-Tg mice infected with MERS-CoV overexpressed caspase-1 in the spleen and showed high IL-1β levels in serum, suggesting that pyroptosis occurred after infection. However, when the C5a-C5aR1 axis was blocked by an anti-C5aR1 antibody (Ab), expression of caspase-1 and IL-1β fell. These data indicate that MERS-CoV infection induces overactivation of complement, which may contribute to pyroptosis and inflammation. Pyroptosis and inflammation were suppressed by inhibiting C5aR1. These results will further our understanding of the pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection.