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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

Supreme Council of Health, Doha, Qatar.
Department of Viroscience, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands;
Animal Resources Department-Ministry of Environment, Doha, Qatar.
Department of Viroscience, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Center for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
Supreme Council of Health, Doha, Qatar;


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.


MERS-CoV; camels; respiratory infections; zoonoses

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