Camels Spread The Dangerous Virus – Part 2 of 3
Genetically, the viruses in the camels were very similar – but not identical – to those that infected the barn holder 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, 2013 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. While the findings provision proof that camels can be infected with MERS, it’s not possible to determine whether the camels infected the two men or frailty 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 inquisition 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 article in the journal.