Exploring the potential roles of some rodents within the transmission of the Center East respiratory syndrome coronavirus – Hemida – – Journal of Medical Virology


MER-CoV is one of the recently identified zoonotic coronaviruses. The single-humped camels are believed to play an important role in the development and transmission of the virus. Animal-to-animal transmission and animal-to-human transmission associated with MERS-CoV infection have been reported. The camels excrete the virus in some of their secretions, particularly in the nasal tract. However, there are many aspects of the animal-to-human transmission cycle that are not fully understood. Rodents played an important role in the transmission of many pathogens, including viruses and bacteria. You have been involved in the development of many human coronaviruses, particularly HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1. However, the role of rodents in the transmission of MERS-CoV requires further investigation. To achieve this goal, we identified MERS-CoV infected dromedary camels through molecular surveillance. We caught 15 of the common rodents (rats, mice and jerboa) that share the habitat with these animals. We collected both oral and rectal swabs from these animals and then tested them with the commercial MERS-CoV real-time PCR kits using two targets. Despite evidence of virus shedding in the nasal swabs of some dromedary camels, none of the rodents tested positive for the virus during the duration of this study. We concluded that these rodent species were not harboring the virus and most likely not contributing to the transmission of the MERS-CoV. However, more large-scale studies are needed to confirm the possible roles of rodents in the MERS-CoV transmission cycle, if any

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