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Cross-sectional prevalence study of MERS-CoV in local and imported dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia, 2016-2018.
PLoS One. 2020; 15(5):e0232790.Plos

Abstract

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an endemic virus in dromedaries. Annually, Saudi Arabia imports thousands of camels from the Horn of Africa, yet the epidemiology of MERS-CoV in these animals is largely unknown. Here, MERS-CoV prevalence was compared in imported African camels and their local counterparts. A total of 1399 paired sera and nasal swabs were collected from camels between 2016 and 2018. Imported animals from Sudan (n = 829) and Djibouti (n = 328) were sampled on incoming ships at Jeddah Islamic seaport before unloading, and local camels were sampled from Jeddah (n = 242). Samples were screened for neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and MERS-CoV viral RNA. The overall seroprevalence was 92.7% and RNA detection rate was 17.2%. Imported camels had higher seroprevalence compared to resident herds (93.8% vs 87.6%, p <0.01) in contrast to RNA detection (13.3% vs 35.5%, p <0.0001). Seroprevalence significantly increased with age (p<0.0001) and viral RNA detection rate was ~2-folds higher in camels <2-year-old compared to older animals. RNA detection was higher in males verses females (24.3% vs 12.6%, p<0.0001) but seroprevalence was similar. Concurrent positivity for viral RNA and nAbs was found in >87% of the RNA positive animals, increased with age and was sex-dependent. Importantly, reduced viral RNA load was positively correlated with nAb titers. Our data confirm the widespread of MERS-CoV in imported and domestic camels in Saudi Arabia and highlight the need for continuous active surveillance and better prevention measures. Further studies are also warranted to understand camels correlates of protection for proper vaccine development.

Authors+Show Affiliations

King Fahd Medical Research Center, Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Division of Microbiology, Department of Biological Science, Faculty of science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.Division of Microbiology, Department of Biological Science, Faculty of science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.King Fahd Medical Research Center, Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.King Fahd Medical Research Center, Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.King Fahd Medical Research Center, Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.King Fahd Medical Research Center, Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.Directorate of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment Water and Agriculture, Makkah Region, Saudi Arabia.Directorate of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment Water and Agriculture, Makkah Region, Saudi Arabia.KSU Mammals Research Chair, Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.KSU Mammals Research Chair, Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.King Fahd Medical Research Center, Vaccines and Immunotherapy Unit, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.King Fahd Medical Research Center, Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

32453746

Citation

Tolah, Ahmed M., et al. "Cross-sectional Prevalence Study of MERS-CoV in Local and Imported Dromedary Camels in Saudi Arabia, 2016-2018." PloS One, vol. 15, no. 5, 2020, pp. e0232790.
Tolah AM, Al Masaudi SB, El-Kafrawy SA, et al. Cross-sectional prevalence study of MERS-CoV in local and imported dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia, 2016-2018. PLoS One. 2020;15(5):e0232790.
Tolah, A. M., Al Masaudi, S. B., El-Kafrawy, S. A., Mirza, A. A., Harakeh, S. M., Hassan, A. M., Alsaadi, M. A., Alzahrani, A. A., Alsaaidi, G. A., Amor, N. M. S., Alagaili, A. N., Hashem, A. M., & Azhar, E. I. (2020). Cross-sectional prevalence study of MERS-CoV in local and imported dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia, 2016-2018. PloS One, 15(5), e0232790. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0232790
Tolah AM, et al. Cross-sectional Prevalence Study of MERS-CoV in Local and Imported Dromedary Camels in Saudi Arabia, 2016-2018. PLoS One. 2020;15(5):e0232790. PubMed PMID: 32453746.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Cross-sectional prevalence study of MERS-CoV in local and imported dromedary camels in Saudi Arabia, 2016-2018. AU - Tolah,Ahmed M, AU - Al Masaudi,Saad B, AU - El-Kafrawy,Sherif A, AU - Mirza,Ahmed A, AU - Harakeh,Steve M, AU - Hassan,Ahmed M, AU - Alsaadi,Mohammed A, AU - Alzahrani,Abdulrahman A, AU - Alsaaidi,Ghaleb A, AU - Amor,Nabil M S, AU - Alagaili,Abdulaziz N, AU - Hashem,Anwar M, AU - Azhar,Esam I, Y1 - 2020/05/26/ PY - 2020/01/17/received PY - 2020/04/21/accepted PY - 2020/5/27/entrez PY - 2020/5/27/pubmed PY - 2020/6/23/medline SP - e0232790 EP - e0232790 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS One VL - 15 IS - 5 N2 - The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is an endemic virus in dromedaries. Annually, Saudi Arabia imports thousands of camels from the Horn of Africa, yet the epidemiology of MERS-CoV in these animals is largely unknown. Here, MERS-CoV prevalence was compared in imported African camels and their local counterparts. A total of 1399 paired sera and nasal swabs were collected from camels between 2016 and 2018. Imported animals from Sudan (n = 829) and Djibouti (n = 328) were sampled on incoming ships at Jeddah Islamic seaport before unloading, and local camels were sampled from Jeddah (n = 242). Samples were screened for neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and MERS-CoV viral RNA. The overall seroprevalence was 92.7% and RNA detection rate was 17.2%. Imported camels had higher seroprevalence compared to resident herds (93.8% vs 87.6%, p <0.01) in contrast to RNA detection (13.3% vs 35.5%, p <0.0001). Seroprevalence significantly increased with age (p<0.0001) and viral RNA detection rate was ~2-folds higher in camels <2-year-old compared to older animals. RNA detection was higher in males verses females (24.3% vs 12.6%, p<0.0001) but seroprevalence was similar. Concurrent positivity for viral RNA and nAbs was found in >87% of the RNA positive animals, increased with age and was sex-dependent. Importantly, reduced viral RNA load was positively correlated with nAb titers. Our data confirm the widespread of MERS-CoV in imported and domestic camels in Saudi Arabia and highlight the need for continuous active surveillance and better prevention measures. Further studies are also warranted to understand camels correlates of protection for proper vaccine development. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/32453746/Cross_sectional_prevalence_study_of_MERS_CoV_in_local_and_imported_dromedary_camels_in_Saudi_Arabia_2016_2018_ L2 - https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0232790 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -