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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Seropositive Camel Handlers in Kenya

International Livestock Research Institute, Old Naivasha Road, PO Box 30709, Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, Leahurst Campus, Chester High Road, Neston CH64 7TE, UK
Viroscience Department, Erasmus Medical Center, 3015 GD Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contribute equally to the work.
Viruses 2020, 12(4), 396;
Received: 18 February 2020 / Revised: 30 March 2020 / Accepted: 31 March 2020 / Published: 3 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a respiratory disease caused by a zoonotic coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Camel handlers, including slaughterhouse workers and herders, are at risk of acquiring MERS-CoV infections. However, there is limited evidence of infections among camel handlers in Africa. The purpose of this study was to determine the presence of antibodies to MERS-CoV in high-risk groups in Kenya. Sera collected from 93 camel handlers, 58 slaughterhouse workers and 35 camel herders, were screened for MERS-CoV antibodies using ELISA and PRNT. We found four seropositive slaughterhouse workers by PRNT. Risk factors amongst the slaughterhouse workers included being the slaughterman (the person who cuts the throat of the camel) and drinking camel blood. Further research is required to understand the epidemiology of MERS-CoV in Africa in relation to occupational risk, with a need for additional studies on the transmission of MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans, seroprevalence and associated risk factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus; camels; Republic of Kenya; slaughterhouses coronavirus; camels; Republic of Kenya; slaughterhouses
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Kiyong’a, A.N.; Cook, E.A.J.; Okba, N.M.A.; Kivali, V.; Reusken, C.; Haagmans, B.L.; Fèvre, E.M. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Seropositive Camel Handlers in Kenya. Viruses 2020, 12, 396.

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