Geographic distribution of MERS coronavirus among dromedary camels, Africa

Posted on

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), was identified as the cause of severe respiratory disease in humans during 2012. In August 2013, dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) were implicated for the first time as a possible source for human infection on the basis of the presence of MERS-CoV neutralizing antibodies in dromedaries from Oman and the Canary Islands of Spain. Since then, the presence of MERS-CoV antibodies in dromedaries has been reported in Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. In October 2013, analysis of an outbreak associated with 1 barn in Qatar found dromedaries and humans to be infected with nearly identical strains of MERS-CoV. Further proof of widespread circulation of MERS-CoV among dromedaries was provided by studies from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. These findings have raised questions about the geographic distribution of MERS-CoV among camel populations elsewhere. Here, we report our assessment of the geographic distribution of MERS-CoV circulation among dromedaries in Africa by serologic investigation of convenience samples from these animals in Nigeria, Tunisia, and Ethiopia. Read more:  Emerging Infectious Disease  Original web page at Emerging Infectious Diseases

Tags: ,