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N Engl J Med. 2014 Jun 26;370(26):2499-505. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1401505. Epub 2014 Jun 4.

Evidence for camel-to-human transmission of MERS coronavirus.

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From the Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences (E.I.A.), Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center (E.I.A., S.A.E., S.A.F., A.M. Hassan, M.S.A., A.M. Hashem), and the Departments of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology (A.M. Hashem) and Medicine (T.A.M.), Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


We describe the isolation and sequencing of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) obtained from a dromedary camel and from a patient who died of laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV infection after close contact with camels that had rhinorrhea. Nasal swabs collected from the patient and from one of his nine camels were positive for MERS-CoV RNA. In addition, MERS-CoV was isolated from the patient and the camel. The full genome sequences of the two isolates were identical. Serologic data indicated that MERS-CoV was circulating in the camels but not in the patient before the human infection occurred. These data suggest that this fatal case of human MERS-CoV infection was transmitted through close contact with an infected camel.

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