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Title: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus neutralising serum antibodies in dromedary camels: A comparative serological study
Authors: Reusken, Chantal B.E.M.
Haagmans, Bart L.
Müller, Marcel A.
Gutierrez, Carlos 
Godeke, Gert Jan
Meyer, Benjamin
Muth, Doreen
Raj, V. Stalin
Vries, Laura Smits De
Corman, Victor M.
Drexler, Jan Felix
Smits, Saskia L.
El Tahir, Yasmin E.
De Sousa, Rita
van Beek, Janko
Nowotny, Norbert
van Maanen, Kees
Hidalgo-Hermoso, Ezequiel
Bosch, Berend Jan
Rottier, Peter
Osterhaus, Albert
Gortázar-Schmidt, Christian
Drosten, Christian
Koopmans, Marion P.G.
Keywords: Bovine Coronavirus
Bat Coronavirus
Sequence, et al
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: 1473-3099
Journal: The Lancet Infectious Diseases 
Abstract: Background A new betacoronavirus Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been identified in patients with severe acute respiratory infection. Although related viruses infect bats, molecular clock analyses have been unable to identify direct ancestors of MERS-CoV. Anecdotal exposure histories suggest that patients had been in contact with dromedary camels or goats. We investigated possible animal reservoirs of MERSCoV by assessing specific serum antibodies in livestock.Methods We took sera from animals in the Middle East (Oman) and from elsewhere (Spain, Netherlands, Chile). Cattle (n=80), sheep (n=40), goats (n=40), dromedary camels (n=155), and various other camelid species (n=34) were tested for specific serum IgG by protein microarray using the receptor-binding Si subunits of spike proteins of MERS-CoV, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and human coronavirus 0C43. Results were confirmed by virus neutralisation tests for MERS-CoV and bovine coronavirus.Findings 50 of 50 (100%) sera from Omani camels and 15 of 105 (14%) from Spanish camels had protein-specific antibodies against MERS-CoV spike. Sera from European sheep, goats, cattle, and other camelids had no such antibodies. MERS-CoV neutralising antibody titres varied between 1/320 and 1/2560 for the Omani camel sera and between 1/20 and 1/320 for the Spanish camel sera. There was no evidence for cross-neutralisation by bovine coronavirus antibodies.Interpretation MERS-CoV or a related virus has infected camel populations. Both titres and seroprevalences in sera from different locations in Oman suggest widespread infection.
ISSN: 1473-3099
DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70164-6
Source: Lancet Infectious Diseases[ISSN 1473-3099],v. 13 (10), p. 859-866
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