Robert Roos has another good report in CIDRAP: Antibody study hints at MERS-CoV in African camels. Click through for the full article and links. Excerpt:
Dromedary camels in widely separated parts of Africa were exposed to the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) or a closely related virus well before the first human case was detected, researchers from the Netherlands and Africa reported yesterday.
The discovery of MERS-CoV–like antibodies in camels in Nigeria, Tunisia, and Ethiopia expands the geographic range of the virus beyond the Middle East and raises the possibility of unrecognized human cases in Africa, according to the findings, published in an early online report from Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Also today, researchers reported that a MERS-CoV virus collected from a camel in Qatar was able to infect and grow in human cells in a laboratory culture, adding further support for the view that camels are a source of human MERS-CoV infections. The information was in a report that Qatari officials filed with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The World Health Organization said last month that MERS-CoV very likely is spreading to humans from camels, but the exact transmission pathway remains unclear.