Tag Archives: Camelids

Camels test positive for respiratory virus in Kenya

A team of scientists surveyed 335 dromedary – single humped – camels from nine herds in Laikipia County, Kenya and found that 47% tested positive for MERS antibodies, showing they had been exposed to the virus. A new study has found that nearly half of camels in parts of Kenya have been infected by the […]

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Geographic distribution of MERS coronavirus among dromedary camels, Africa

We found serologic evidence for the circulation of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus among dromedary camels in Nigeria, Tunisia, and Ethiopia. Circulation of the virus among dromedaries across broad areas of Africa may indicate that this disease is currently underdiagnosed in humans outside the Arabian Peninsula. A novel betacoronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), […]

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New hepatitis E virus genotype in camels, the Middle East

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In a molecular epidemiology study of hepatitis E virus (HEV) in dromedaries in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, HEV was detected in fecal samples from 3 camels. Complete genome sequencing of 2 strains showed >20% overall nucleotide difference to known HEVs. Comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses revealed a previously unrecognized HEV genotype. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) […]

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Viruses in humans and camels from one region are identical

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Virologists Norbert Nowotny and Jolanta Kolodziejek from the Institute of Virology are investigating the transmission pathways of the MERS coronavirus. They found that viruses from infected humans and Arabian camels from the same geographical region have nearly identical RNA sequences. “This indicates transmission between animals and man. The process is referred to as zoonosis. With […]

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Deadly MERS virus has infected camels at least since 1992

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The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) first made world headlines when it was discovered in 2012. But new research shows that the responsible virus has probably been lurking in camels in Saudi   Arabia since 1992 or even longer—and that it is very common among the animals today. The study suggests that undiscovered human cases […]

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Replicative capacity of MERS Coronavirus in livestock cell lines

Replicative capacity of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was assessed in cell lines derived from livestock and peridomestic small mammals on the Arabian Peninsula. Only cell lines originating from goats and camels showed efficient replication of MERS-CoV. These results provide direction in the search for the intermediate host of MERS-CoV. Coronaviruses (CoV) in the […]

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To swallow or to spit? New medicines for llamas, alpacas

South American camelids, especially llamas and alpacas, are very susceptible to infections caused by endoparasites. The so-called small liver fluke (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) is particularly problematic and infections with this parasite are frequently fatal. Moreover, camelids are prone to stress and together with their tendency to spit (especially when they do not like the taste of […]

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Lack of in-depth studies hampers efforts to identify source

Possible infection with the MERS coronavirus, or a closely related virus, has been detected in camels. A year on from the first reported human case of infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the world still has few answers to the most pressing question from a public-health perspective: what is the source of the […]

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Decoding the genome of the camel

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By sequencing the genome of a Bactrian camel, researchers at the Vetmeduni Vienna have made a significant contribution to population genetic research on camels. The study has laid the foundation for future scientific work on these enigmatic desert animals. A blood sample from a single Bactrian camel with the evocative name of “Mozart” provided the […]

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Relocating elephants backfires

You can move an elephant, but you can’t make him stay. After monitoring a dozen bull Asian elephants in Sri Lanka that were transferred—three of them multiple times—to national parks, researchers have concluded that relocation neither reduces human-elephant conflicts nor helps conservation efforts. Indeed, five of the translocated elephants ended up being killed within 8 […]

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Bactrian camel genome holds survival secrets

Sky-high blood glucose levels, a diet loaded with salt and a tendency to pack away fat sounds like a recipe for a health disaster in a human. But in a Bactrian camel, these are adaptations that may help it survive in some of the driest, coldest and highest regions of the world. Researchers in Mongolia […]

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Nerve-growth protein linked to ovulation

A chemical in llama semen responsible for inducing ovulation in females has been identified and, surprisingly, it is a protein already known for its role in promoting the growth and survival of nerve cells in many species. The protein — nerve growth factor (NGF) — is also found in human semen, suggesting that it may […]

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Natural Burkholderia mallei infection in dromedary, Bahrain

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We confirm a natural infection of dromedaries with glanders. Multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis of a Burkholderia mallei strain isolated from a diseased dromedary in Bahrain revealed close genetic proximity to strain Dubai 7, which caused an outbreak of glanders in horses in the United Arab Emirates in 2004. Glanders, a World Organisation for […]

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Hospital infections: Unique antibody from Llamas provide weapon against Clostridium Difficile

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Clostridium difficile is a health problem that affects hundreds of thousands of patients and costs $10 billion to $20 billion every year in North America. Researchers from the University of Calgary and the National Research Council of Canada say they are gaining a deeper understanding of this disease and are closer to developing a novel […]

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Llama proteins could play a vital role in the war on terror

Scientists at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR) have for the first time developed a highly sensitive means of detecting the seven types of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) simultaneously. The BoNT-detecting substances are antibodies — proteins made by the body to fight diseases — found in llamas. BoNT are about 100 billion times more toxic […]

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Peru volcano spews deadly ash

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Clouds of poisonous ash and acidic smoke from a volcano in southern Peru are causing severe respiratory problems for people and animals living in the mountain’s shadow. Locals have been wearing face masks to keep from breathing ashes and fumes, and some have even bestowed the protection on their livestock. The Ubinas volcano sits in […]

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