bannerHON
img
HONnews
HONnews
img PATIENT / PARTICULIER img PROFESSIONNEL DE SANTE img WEBMESTRE img
img
 
img
HONcode sites
All Web sites
HONselect
News
Conferences
Images

Themes:
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z
Browse archive:
2014: A M F J
2013: D N O S A J J M A

 
  Other news for:
Infection
Viruses
 Resources from HONselect
Deadly MERS Virus Detected in Camels
But it's not clear what role animals play in its transmission to humans

By Robert Preidt

TUESDAY, Dec. 17, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Scientists say they have the first definitive proof that a deadly respiratory virus in the Middle East infects camels in addition to humans.

The finding may help researchers find ways to control the spread of the virus.

Using gene sequencing, the research team found that three camels from a site where two people contracted Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS) were also infected with the virus.

The location was a small livestock barn in Qatar. In October, the 61-year-old barn owner was diagnosed with MERS, followed by a 23-year-old man who worked at the barn.

Within a week of the barn owner's diagnosis, samples were collected from 14 dromedary camels at the barn. The samples were sent to laboratories in the Netherlands for genetic analysis and antibody testing.

The genetic analyses confirmed the presence of MERS in three camels. Genetically, the viruses in the camels were very similar -- but not identical -- to those that infected the barn owner and worker.

All 14 camels had antibodies to MERS, which suggests that the virus had been circulating among them for some time, enabling most of them to develop immunity against infection, according to the study published Dec. 17 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

While the findings provide proof that camels can be infected with MERS, it's not possible to determine whether the camels infected the two men or vice versa, said the researchers from the Netherlands and Qatar.

It's also possible that the men and the camels were infected by another as-yet unknown source such as cattle, sheep, goats or wildlife, the researchers added. Further investigation into the infections is under way.

"An understanding of the role of animals in the transmission of (MERS) is urgently needed to inform control efforts," Neil Ferguson and Maria Van Kerkhove, of Imperial College London in England, wrote in an accompanying editorial in the journal. "This virus can spread from person to person, sometimes causing substantial outbreaks, but whether the virus is capable of self-sustained (i.e., epidemic) human-to-human transmission is unknown."

If self-sustained transmission in people is not yet under way, the researchers said, intensive control and risk-reduction measures targeting affected animal species and their handlers might eliminate the virus from the human population. "Conversely, if (animal) exposure causes only a small fraction of human infections, then even intensive veterinary control efforts would have little effect on cases in people," they concluded.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about MERS.

SOURCE: The Lancet Infectious Diseases, news release, Dec. 16, 2013

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=683092

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Infection
Research Personnel
Communicable Diseases
Role
Men
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


Home img About us img MediaCorner img HON newsletter img Site map img Ethical policies img Contact