Posted on 05TH APR 2017
tagged MERS-CoV, Egypt; Sudan

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Mon 3 Apr 2017
Source: Agri-Ahram [in Arabic, trans. Mod.AB, edited]

Veterinary quarantine in Abu Simbel, Aswan governorate, released a batch of Sudanese camels after the laboratory analysis conducted on samples taken from the animals confirmed they were free from all contagious diseases. However, the results showed that 60 camels were suspected of being infected with MERS-CoV and were retained in quarantine and placed under strict veterinary observation.

The port of Arqin al-Bari, south of Aswan province, received an imported shipment from Sudan. The shipment of imported camels, which includes about 3400 heads of live camels, was transferred to Abu Simbel city until completion of veterinary quarantine procedures.

The veterinary quarantine authorities took samples of the Sudanese camels and sent them to the competent central laboratories to ensure that the consignment of camels is free of epidemic diseases before allowing them to be released and put on markets.

[Byline: Mohamed Abulhassan]

Communicated by:

[This is a preventive measure that aims at avoiding or at least limiting the risk of human contact with the animals supposedly contaminated with MERS-CoV.

Egypt often imports camels from Sudan and such finding is recurrently made. The relevance of such measure can be questioned as the imported animals are intended only for consumption. - Mod.AB

The following summary of a recent paper, presenting observations from Egypt on MERS-CoV in camels and other mammals during the period August 2015 to January 2016 (Ref 1) may add some useful background:

"A cross-sectional study was conducted in Egypt to determine the prevalence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in imported and resident camels and bats, as well as to assess possible transmission of the virus to domestic ruminants and equines. A total of 1031 sera, 1078 nasal swabs, 13 rectal swabs, and 38 milk samples were collected from 1078 camels in different types of sites. In addition, 145 domestic animals and 109 bats were sampled.

"Overall, of 1031 serologically-tested camels, 871 (84.5 percent) had MERS-CoV neutralising antibodies.
Seroprevalence was significantly higher in imported (614/692; 88.7 percent) than resident camels (257/339; 5.8) (p less than 0.05). Camels from Sudan (543/594; 91.4 percent) had a higher seroprevalence than those from East Africa (71/98; 72.4 percent) (p less than 0.05). Sampling site and age were also associated with MERS-CoV seroprevalence (p less than 0.05). All tested samples from domestic animals and bats were negative for MERS-CoV antibodies except one sheep sample which showed a 1:640 titre.

"Of 1078 camels, 41 (3.8 percent) were positive for MERS-CoV genetic material. Sequences obtained were not found to cluster with clade A or B MERS-CoV sequences and were genetically diverse. The presence of neutralising antibodies in one sheep apparently in contact with seropositive camels calls for further studies on domestic animals in contact with camels."

It deserves to be mentioned that none of the 91 tested Egyptian bats was positive for MERS-CoV neutralising antibodies.

Subscribers may wish to access the full paper at

Detailed results of similar surveillance activities which might have been applied in other Middle Eastern countries, where seropositive camels are known to be present without reported human infection, in case available, will be much appreciated.

Ali M, El-Shesheny R, Kandeil A , et al: Cross-sectional surveillance of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in dromedary camels and other mammals in Egypt, August 2015 to January 2016. Euro Surveill. 2017; 22(11): pii=30487. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.11.30487.
- Mod.AS

Maps of Egypt can be seen at and - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]

See Also
MERS-CoV (18): Africa, animal reservoir, camels, 2015, research 20170331.4939980
MERS-CoV (90): Saudi Arabia (RI), camel association, UAE 20160808.4402381
MERS-CoV (59): animal reservoir, review 20160610.4275921
MERS-CoV (40): Egypt, animal reservoir, camel, ex Sudan, susp. 20160316.4097730
MERS-CoV (39): Saudi Arabia (RI) 20160315.4095267
MERS-CoV (38): Saudi Arabia (RI, MK), RFI 20160314.4092319
MERS-CoV (37): Saudi Arabia (QS, HA) 20160313.4090021
MERS-CoV (36): Saudi Arabia, RFI 20160312.4088330
MERS-CoV (35): Saudi Arabia, Qatar ex Saudi Arabia, WHO 20160311.4085518
MERS-CoV (34): Saudi Arabia, nosocomial, RFI 20160310.4083896
MERS-CoV (33): Saudi Arabia, nosocomial 20160309.4076391
MERS-CoV (32): Saudi Arabia (RI) 20160306.4072878
MERS-CoV (31): Saudi Arabia, Kenya serosurvey 20160305.4070643
MERS-CoV (30): Saudi Arabia (QS) WHO 20160303.4066494
MERS-CoV (29): Saudi Arabia (RI) 20160229.4057451
MERS-CoV (28): Saudi Arabia (AS) 20160227.4054878
MERS-CoV (27): Saudi Arabia (RI), RFI 20160226.4053654
MERS-CoV (26): Saudi Arabia (NJ,HA) 20160225.4049798
MERS-CoV (25): Saudi Arabia, RFI 20160223.4045089
MERS-CoV (24): Qatar ex Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia (RI) RFI 20160222.4041719
MERS-CoV (23): Saudi Arabia (RI) 2015 outbreak, RFI 20160220.4036190
MERS-CoV (22): Saudi Arabia (RI) RFI 20160218.4028850
MERS-CoV (21): Saudi Arabia, animal reservoir, camel, comment 20160216.4023772
MERS-CoV (20): Saudi Arabia (NJ,RI) 20160212.4016509
MERS-CoV (19): Saudi Arabia, animal reservoir, camel, prevention, RFI 20160204.3995194
MERS-CoV (18): Saudi Arabia, animal reservoir, camel, vaccination, comment 20160203.3990284
MERS-CoV (17): Saudi Arabia (MK) WHO 20160203.3987728
MERS-CoV (16): Saudi Arabia (MK) animal reservoir, OIE, RFI 20160201.3985175
MERS-CoV (15): Saudi Arabia (RI) 20160201.3985046
MERS-CoV (13): Saudi Arabia (RI) 20160127.3970964
MERS-CoV (12): UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, WHO 20160126.3967808
MERS-CoV (11): Saudi Arabia, animal reservoir, camel, vaccination, comment 20160126.3966528
MERS-CoV (10): Saudi Arabia (MK), Thailand ex Oman, RFI 20160125.3964309
MERS-CoV (09): Saudi Arabia, animal reservoir, camel, vaccination considered 20160125.3963370
MERS-COV (08): Thailand ex Oman, Saudi Arabia corr 20160124.3962172
MERS-CoV (07): Saudi Arabia 20160123.3959982
MERS-CoV (06): UAE (AZ) 20160114.3937314
MERS-COV (03): Korea, virus mutation 20160108.3921223
MERS-COV (01): Oman, Saudi Arabia 20160105.3911188
MERS-COV (167): acute management and long-term survival 20151231.3904300
MERS-CoV (01): Saudi Arabia, new cases, new death 20150104.3069383
MERS-CoV (69): Saudi Arabia, new case, RFI 20141230.306305
MERS-CoV (01): Bangladesh, KSA, Algeria, UAE, Iran, WHO, RFI 20140616.2541707
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (82): anim res, camel, seroepidemiology 20140613.2537848
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (01): Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, WHO 20140103.2150717
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean (106): animal reservoir, camel, Qatar, OIE 20131231.2145606
MERS-CoV - Eastern Mediterranean: Saudi Arabia, new case, RFI 20130518.1721601
Novel coronavirus - Eastern Mediterranean (29): MERS-CoV, ICTV nomenclature 20130516.1717833
Novel coronavirus - Eastern Mediterranean: bat reservoir 20130122.1508656
Novel coronavirus - Eastern Mediterranean (06): comments 20121225.1468821
Novel coronavirus - Eastern Mediterranean: WHO, Jordan, conf., RFI 20121130.1432498
Novel coronavirus - Saudi Arabia (18): WHO, new cases, cluster 20121123.1421664
Novel coronavirus - Saudi Arabia: human isolate 20120920.1302733