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Euro Surveill. 2017 Mar 30;22(13). pii: 30498. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.13.30498.

Risk factors for MERS coronavirus infection in dromedary camels in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Morocco, 2015.

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Cirad UPR AGIRs, Montpellier, France.
UMR CNRS, IRD, UM, 5290 MIVEGEC, Montpellier, France.
National Veterinary Institute, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia.
Institut Agronomique Vétérinaire Hassan 2, Rabat, Morocco.
INERA-CNRST, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region, China.
Cirad UMR SELMET, Montpellier, France.
Haramaya university, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia.


Understanding Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) transmission in dromedary camels is important, as they consitute a source of zoonotic infection to humans. To identify risk factors for MERS-CoV infection in camels bred in diverse conditions in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Morocco, blood samples and nasal swabs were sampled in February-March 2015. A relatively high MERS-CoV RNA rate was detected in Ethiopia (up to 15.7%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 8.2-28.0), followed by Burkina Faso (up to 12.2%; 95% CI: 7-20.4) and Morocco (up to 7.6%; 95% CI: 1.9-26.1). The RNA detection rate was higher in camels bred for milk or meat than in camels for transport (p = 0.01) as well as in younger camels (p = 0.06). High seropositivity rates (up to 100%; 95% CI: 100-100 and 99.4%; 95% CI: 95.4-99.9) were found in Morocco and Ethiopia, followed by Burkina Faso (up to 84.6%; 95% CI: 77.2-89.9). Seropositivity rates were higher in large/medium herds (≥51 camels) than small herds (p = 0.061), in camels raised for meat or milk than for transport (p = 0.01), and in nomadic or sedentary herds than in herds with a mix of these lifestyles (p < 0.005).


Density; West - East gradient; herd size; milking activities; nomadic; sedentary

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