Brief Report: Evidence for Camel-to-Human Transmission of MERS Coronavirus

New England Journal of Medicine
June 26, 2014 Vol. 370 No. 26

Brief Report: Evidence for Camel-to-Human Transmission of MERS Coronavirus
E.I. Azhar and Others
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We describe the isolation and sequencing of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) obtained from a dromedary camel and from a patient who died of laboratory-confirmed MERS-CoV infection after close contact with camels that had rhinorrhea. Nasal swabs collected from the patient and from one of his nine camels were positive for MERS-CoV RNA. In addition, MERS-CoV was isolated from the patient and the camel. The full genome sequences of the two isolates were identical. Serologic data indicated that MERS-CoV was circulating in the camels but not in the patient before the human infection occurred. These data suggest that this fatal case of human MERS-CoV infection was transmitted through close contact with an infected camel.