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Serological evidence of MERS-CoV antibodies in
dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Laikipia
County, Kenya
With: Shar...
What is MERS-CoV?
•  Middle East respiratory syndrome
coronavirus
•  A betacoronavirus, related to severe
acute respirator...
Camels as reservoir
•  Several studies have found an epidemiological
association between camels and human cases in the
Mid...
Where is human MERS?
http://coronamap.com/; 23 June 2015
Where is camel MERS?
West of Rift Valley
(Turkana camels)
camel density
0.3-1.0 camels /km2
East of Rift Valley
(Rendille & Somali
camels)
1.3-...
Our study site
Cross-sectional study in Laikipia
County in June-August 2013
Serum collected from 335 camels
in 9 herds, br...
Results
Prevalence C.I P value
Adult >2
Years
61% (197) 54.2-68.3 0.09
Juvenile 6-
12 Months
21% (71) 12.3-32.4
<0.05
Youn...
Conclusions
High MERS-CoV exposure in camels provides support
for the need of further research on the role of camels in
th...
Recommendations
Don’t panic!
It seems probable that MERS-CoV is a widespread in Kenyan (?)
camel populations, and has been...
Next steps
Design and implement a genetic epidemiology study
Undertake a cross-sectional study of potential at-risk
groups...
Thanks for your attention!
Professor Eric Fèvre
Email: Eric.Fevre@liverpool.ac.uk
Web: www.zoonotic-diseases.org
Twitter: ...
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Serological evidence of MERS-CoV antibodies in dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Laikipia County, Kenya

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Presented by Eric M. Fèvre, Sharon L. Deem, Margaret Kinnaird, Springer Browne, Dishon Muloi, Gert-Jan Godeke, Marion Koopmans and C.B.E.M. Reusken at the 4th Medical and Veterinary Virus Research Symposium in Kenya (MVVR), Nairobi, Kenya, 15-16 October 2015.

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Serological evidence of MERS-CoV antibodies in dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Laikipia County, Kenya

  1. 1. Serological evidence of MERS-CoV antibodies in dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Laikipia County, Kenya With: Sharon L. Deem, Margaret Kinnaird, Springer Browne, Dishon Muloi, Gert-Jan Godeke, Marion Koopmans, C.B.E.M. Reusken Eric M. Fèvre Chair of Veterinary Infectious Diseases Institute of Infection and Global Health University of Liverpool and International Livestock Research Institute www.zoonotic-diseases.org @ZoonoticDisease PLoS One, in press: reference available tomorrow!
  2. 2. What is MERS-CoV? •  Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus •  A betacoronavirus, related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS- CoV) and other coronaviruses •  Origin is likely bats? •  Camels a likely virus reservoir, or at least a liaison host •  In the Middle East MERS-CoV has zoonotic potential Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus in Bats, Saudi Arabia. Memish et al, Emerg Infect Dis. 2013 Nov; 19(11): 1819–1823.
  3. 3. Camels as reservoir •  Several studies have found an epidemiological association between camels and human cases in the Middle East •  MERS-CoV antibody and virus have been detected in dromedary camels in the Arabian peninsula •  Similarity of MERS virus carried in humans and animals from Saudi Arabian patient who had contact with camels (Evidence for Camel-to-Human Transmission of MERS Coronavirus Esam I. Azhar, Ph.D., Sherif A. El-Kafrawy, Ph.D., Suha A. Farraj, M.Sc., Ahmed M. Hassan, M.Sc., Muneera S. Al-Saeed, B.Sc., Anwar M. Hashem, Ph.D., and Tariq A. Madani, M.D. N Engl J Med 2014; 370:2499-)
  4. 4. Where is human MERS? http://coronamap.com/; 23 June 2015
  5. 5. Where is camel MERS?
  6. 6. West of Rift Valley (Turkana camels) camel density 0.3-1.0 camels /km2 East of Rift Valley (Rendille & Somali camels) 1.3-3.8 camels/km2 n=774 samples collected 1992 - 2013 Kenya? Corman VM et al. Antibodies against MERS coronavirus in dromedary camels, Kenya,1992–2013. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014. Slide from Mario Younan)
  7. 7. Our study site Cross-sectional study in Laikipia County in June-August 2013 Serum collected from 335 camels in 9 herds, broadly representative of the Laikipia camel population Part of a wider camel health survey, incl demography, management, degree of isolation 4-8ml blood sample collected from the jugular vein Transported on ice, centrifuged and serum separated and frozen at -20︎C Samples were shipped on dry ice for testing at Erasmus University, Netherlands: Serum samples tested at a 1:20 dilution for presence of IgG antibodies reacting with MERS-CoV, SARS and human coronavirus (HCoV) (Reusken et al) in a antigen microarray
  8. 8. Results Prevalence C.I P value Adult >2 Years 61% (197) 54.2-68.3 0.09 Juvenile 6- 12 Months 21% (71) 12.3-32.4 <0.05 Young <6 months 39% (57) 0 -98.7 TOTAL 47% (335) 41.7-52.7 No effect based on herd management type (p=0.1) and herd isolation (p=0.6)
  9. 9. Conclusions High MERS-CoV exposure in camels provides support for the need of further research on the role of camels in the epidemiology of the disease High prevalence in the Laikipia herd, long term presence of virus in Kenya Exposure in animals that have been born and raised locally – local transmission of MERS-CoV No apparent animal health effects of these infections; no knowledge of when exposure occurred – but likely in young animals
  10. 10. Recommendations Don’t panic! It seems probable that MERS-CoV is a widespread in Kenyan (?) camel populations, and has been for many years Effect on camels is similar to common cold To understand the zoonotic implications of this, we need to understand what the virus is in Kenya, and how it compares to others Therefore, placing virus diversity in a regional context is vital We need to isolate virus and undertake a genetic epidemiology study Further studies on the zoonotic implications should focus on MERS- CoV exposure in humans (eg risk groups) with and without camel contact
  11. 11. Next steps Design and implement a genetic epidemiology study Undertake a cross-sectional study of potential at-risk groups Establish routine MERS-CoV serology in Kenya Establish information exchange with stakeholders
  12. 12. Thanks for your attention! Professor Eric Fèvre Email: Eric.Fevre@liverpool.ac.uk Web: www.zoonotic-diseases.org Twitter: @ZoonoticDisease Tel (VOIP): +44 151 324 1241 Tel: +254 722 545 345 Institute of Infection and Global Health University of Liverpool Leahurst Campus Neston CH64 7TE United Kingdom UK International Livestock Research Institute Old Naivasha Road Po Box 30709-00100 Nairobi Kenya

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