Spanish researchers seek protection for humans through MERS vaccine in dromedaries

MERS update from South Korea
MERS update from South Korea | Courtesy of
An team of Spanish researchers has tested a vaccine for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in dromedary camels to better protect people from contracting the potentially fatal disease.

The researchers from the Animal Health Research Centre (IRTA-CReSA) and the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), have created a new vaccine that successfully protects the camels from MERS.

Now, the scientists are researching to see if the vaccine can reduce the chances of infections spreading from animals to humans. This may be accomplished by decreasing nasal excretion of the camels. This nasal secretion appears to be what causes the virus to transmit from the dromedaries to human beings, causing MERS outbreaks.

"It could be that total protection against MERS-coronavirus will never be attained, since there is low-level virus replication in the upper respiratory tract even in the presence of specific antibodies, similarly to other respiratory viruses, like the SARS coronavirus,” Joaquim Segalés, lecturer in the Department of Animal Health and Anatomy at the UAB and researcher assigned to IRTA, said. "This is nonetheless a very significant step forward in the fight against this pathogen; now we need to delve more deeply into the duration of the immunity and dosage before applying it in real situations.”

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Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

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