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Infect Ecol Epidemiol. 2015 Jul 15;5:28305. doi: 10.3402/iee.v5.28305. eCollection 2015.

High proportion of MERS-CoV shedding dromedaries at slaughterhouse with a potential epidemiological link to human cases, Qatar 2014.

Author information

1
Supreme Council of Health, Doha, Qatar.
2
Department of Viroscience, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; c.reusken@erasmusmc.nl.
3
Animal Resources Department-Ministry of Environment, Doha, Qatar.
4
Department of Viroscience, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
5
Center for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
6
Supreme Council of Health, Doha, Qatar; malhajri1@sch.gov.qa.

Abstract

Two of the earliest Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) cases were men who had visited the Doha central animal market and adjoining slaughterhouse in Qatar. We show that a high proportion of camels presenting for slaughter in Qatar show evidence for nasal MERS-CoV shedding (62/105). Sequence analysis showed the circulation of at least five different virus strains at these premises, suggesting that this location is a driver of MERS-CoV circulation and a high-risk area for human exposure. No correlation between RNA loads and levels of neutralizing antibodies was observed, suggesting limited immune protection and potential for reinfection despite previous exposure.

KEYWORDS:

MERS-CoV; camels; respiratory infections; zoonoses

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