Lack of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Transmission from Infected Camels - Volume 21, Number 4—April 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC
Volume 21, Number 4—April 2015
Lack of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Transmission from Infected Camels
Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in humans continue to be reported from the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East. The largest number of cases has been reported by Saudia Arabia: 818 cases leading to 351 deaths as of December 5, 2014 (1). The causative agent is MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which is endemic to and ubiquitous among dromedary camels in the Arabian Peninsula and East and North Africa; seroprevalence among adult animals is typically >90% (2). MERS-CoV infection causes mild upper respiratory illness in dromedaries and remains detectable in nasal swab specimens for ≈1 week (3).
To look for serologic evidence of MERS-CoV infection in humans extensively exposed to a herd of infected dromedaries, we assessed seroprevalence among persons in close contact with an infected herd of ≈70 animals in Al Hasa, Saudi Arabia, during peak calving season, December 2013–February 2014 (4). The study was approved by the King Faisal University Research Ethics Committee.
Dr. Hemida is an assistant professor of molecular virology at King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia. His primary research interest is virus–host interactions and the molecular biology of coronaviruses.
We thank Waleed Albu-Ali for facilitating the collection of human serum. We also thank the King Faisal University Deanship of Scientific Research (grant no. 143011) and the Area of Excellence Scheme of the Hong Kong University Grants Committee (AoE/M-12/06) of the Government of Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China) for research funding.
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Suggested citation for this article: Hemida MG, Al-Naeem A, Perera RAPM, Chin AWH, Poon LLM, Peiris M. Lack of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus transmission from infected camels. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Apr [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2104.141949
1These authors contributed equally to this article.
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