Dromedaries could transmit dangerous corona virus
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the new coranavirus has already claimed 46 lives. 97 cases of illness were confirmed by laboratory tests. The virus was a threat to the whole world, the WHO Director General, Margaret Chan, warned at the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva in June. Dutch researchers have now identified antibodies to "Mers-CoV" (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus) in the blood of dromedaries. According to this, the animals related to the camels may be carriers of the coronavirus, which has so far mainly occurred in the Arabian Peninsula.
Did dromedaries come into contact with coronaviruses? According to the researchers led by Chantal Reusken from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven in the British specialist journal "The Lancet Infectious Diseases", antibodies against the new coronavirus "Mers" have been detected in the blood of dromedaries. This allows the assumption that the animals came into contact with "Mers" or a close relative. The new corona virus is very similar to the Sars virus and causes flu-like symptoms, as well as life-threatening kidney failure and severe pneumonia. According to the WHO, 46 people have died of "Mers" so far. Most deaths were registered in Saudi Arabia.
For their investigation, Reusken and her team analyzed 349 blood samples from different animals such as sheep, goats, cattle and dromedaries. "50 out of 50 samples (100 percent) of dromedaries from Oman and 15 out of 105 samples (14 percent) of Spanish dromedaries had protein-specific antibodies against Mers-CoV," the researchers report in the journal. A lower amount of antibodies was also found in the blood of the Spanish animals. The researchers conclude that a "Mers" -like virus must occur in dromedaries.
Could dromedaries transmit the coronavirus to humans? The journal continues that research must now focus on finding the virus that causes the antibodies in the animals' blood. This can then be compared to the pathogens in humans.
The researchers were not surprised that especially dromedaries from Oman had antibodies against the new coronavirus in their blood. Oman is a neighboring country to Saudi Arabia where most deaths have been recorded. The animals are used for races on the Arabian Peninsula, for example. The meat is also eaten and the milk is drunk. Therefore, according to researchers, it is possible that "the virus is transmitted from animals to humans". It is known that some "Mers patients had contact with goats or dromedaries".
Case of a 73-year-old "Mers" patient provides information about the distribution of the viral load in the body An international research team led by the University of Bonn is currently investigating the "Mers" virus in detail using the example of a man who died in Munich in March this year. In June, the team led by Professor Christian Drosten, Director of the Institute of Virology at the University Hospital Bonn, reported in "The Lancet" that it was possible for the first time to make statements about the distribution of the "Mers-CoV" viral load on the various organs. This was greatest in the lower airways.
The 73-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates initially suffered from flu-like symptoms. Two days later, he was taken to a clinic in Abu Dhabi, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. The patient then received antibiotics and was artificially ventilated. Even after twelve days there was no improvement in the condition of the man, so that he was finally transferred to a clinic in Munich. Here, too, the condition worsened until the 73-year-old died of blood poisoning (sepsis) and multiple organ failure 18 days after the onset of the disease. (ag)
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